“Yes, I talked with the director yesterday. There’s some talk about an original song for the credits.” Nikki balanced the phone against her shoulder as she opened the refrigerator and put away her leftover lunch. “…uh-huh. That’s right….going into tomorrow for the photo shoot.” She placed her plate in the sink.
The doorbell rang. Nikki glanced up.
“Oh, sorry Vanessa, I’ve got to go. I think the interviewer from the magazine is here. I’ve got to go. I’ll call later to finish this.” She hung up, and hurried to the hall.
She opened the front door. There was a beat and then she shut it again.
There was another slight pause and then a knock on the door. She closed her eyes.
“Shoot.” Taking a deep breath, she reopened the door. “Tobin Makem. Are you just the only interviewer your magazine has?”
He grinned. “I might have requested the feature once I heard you were going to be in the movie.”
“And why would you do that?”
“Well we do have so much fun together on these interviews.”
Nikki rolled her eyes. “You mean you have so much fun. I don’t particularly enjoy playing games.”
“But you’re clearly so good at them. And so here I am. Are you going to let me in?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“You could always refuse the interview. But since the magazine is doing this as a favor for the studio, that might not go over big.”
She shook head. “Whatever. Come on in.” She stepped aside and let him enter. “I suppose I have to offer you a seat?”
“I’m not sure where this hostility is coming from. My last two pieces on you have been very positive.”
“No thanks to you.” She led him into the living room and took a seat. “So let’s talk about this film and get it over with.”
“I’d rather talk about you.”
She suddenly laughed. “I have to say this seems to be a new approach for you. I’m not sure I like it anymore though.”
“Well you are a difficult one to figure out. It’s best to keep things different.”
“But exactly what kind of interview do you think you’re going to get from this approach?”
“To be honest I’m not that interested in the interview.”
“Then maybe you shouldn’t have requested the feature after all.” She stood up and walked over to a side table. “And for record,” she poured herself a drink and held it up. “This is off the record.”
He held up his hands. “Mine is not to judge.”
“Oh really? I think that’s about all you do.”
“I only report the facts. I let the readers judge for themselves.”
“Well this is one fact you’re not reporting.” She sat back down and took a drink. “So, what ‘facts’ are you planning to say about the film?”
He shrugged and crossed his arms. “That it’s a brave new step in a revitalized career. I was thinking as the star, you should really be the focus. Awe-inspiring comeback? Courageous new choices?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Makem, but flattery will get you nowhere. I have been famous since I was fifteen and famous people get an awful lot of flattery. You become rather immune to most of it.”
“It was less flattery and more bribery.”
“Bribery?” she laughed again. “For what?”
“That dinner we talked about last time.”
Slowly, she placed her drink down and then studied him. “I remember saying no.”
“You did. But you also said you were flattered. And as you’ve just mentioned, you’re immune to most forms of flattery. So it must have meant something that I had that effect.”
Nikki hesitated. It would be stupid. Wouldn’t it? Tobin was a bad idea. But then again, why not try it? Clint was gone, she didn’t owe him anything. Tobin would be something new, something different.
She shrugged. “I’ll think about it. Give me your phone number.”
He pulled out a business card and slid it across the table towards her.
“Now,” she said picking her drink back up. “The studio did call this feature in as a favor. So maybe we better actually do this interview.”