Holly woke up early the next day. She turned off the alarm clock as quietly as possible and pulled out a small suitcase from under her bed. She unzipped it and started grabbing a few shirts and jeans to stuff inside.
She heard Amy let out a small grunt and mumble, “What’s going on?”
“Nothing. Go back to bed. I’m just packing a few things to take over to Alan’s. I’ll be out of here in a couple of minutes.”
Amy gave another grunt and rolled over in bed.
Holly finished packing the clothes. She grabbed her purse and car keys, slipped on her shoes and then rode the elevator down.
It was still dark out, the photographers hadn’t yet returned, and she could take her time loading her case into the car and getting in. She yawned sleepily as she turned the key in the ignition, it was after all only a little after five and she and Amy had gone to bed quite late.
She arrived at Alan’s house a little sooner then she expected, having not calculated that there was likely to be very little traffic at this hour. The guard let her in. She parked beside Alan’s car, got out her suitcase and walked up to the front door. She knocked, waited, and then tried the handle. Alan must have left it unlocked for her as it opened.
She stepped into the entrance hall and deposited her purse on a side table. “Alan?” she called. The lights were on in the living room and dining room. She called out again, louder this time. “Alan?”
She heard a distant voice call back and she walked down towards the end of the long hallway. The last door on the left was slightly open and she popped her head in.
It was an office, with a large wooden desk, and several shelves lining two walls stacked with books. It appeared empty.
“Alan are you in here?” she asked a little confused, stepping into the room.
“Down here,” came a voice that appeared to be coming from behind the desk. Holly came further inside.
Seated cross-legged on the floor behind the desk was Alan, bent over a floor safe that was set back against the far wall. “Sorry,” he said over his shoulder. “Have to get my passport out. I don’t like to travel without it.”
He punched in the last digit, there was a click and he swung the door open. She spotted some papers over her shoulder but couldn’t see anything else. He pulled out a passport and slipped in into his jacket pocket just as the phone on the desk started to ring.
Alan got to his feet quickly and picked it up. “Yes? Thank you. I’ll be right out.” He hung up and turned to Holly. “The car’s here to take me to the airport.”
She sighed. “I’m going to miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too.” He came nearer and kissed her. “I won’t be gone that long.”
“I know. But I wish you didn’t have to go at all.”
“It’s part of the job.” He shrugged. “Promotion is just as important as the actual quality of the film. Unfortunately.”
Holly placed her suitcase down, so she could properly get her arms around him for another kiss and then the two walked out. They stopped briefly in the living room for Alan to grab his travel case and then went outside.
A limousine was waiting, the driver standing beside it. As soon as he saw them he hurried over and took Alan’s bag.
Alan turned to Holly. “Good bye. I love you sweetheart.”
“I love you too.” A final kiss and then she stood back, watching him get in the car and drive off.
She sighed as the gate slid closed, and turned and headed back into the house. Being inside alone, it suddenly felt strange and empty.
She yawned again, checked her watch. There was time for a short nap before she had to leave for work. She headed back to the office to grab her suitcase. The case was near the desk, and as she crossed over to it she noticed the safe, the door still opened. Alan must have forgotten to shut it after the phone rang.
She came around the desk and bent down to close it when something caught her eye. She knew she really should just shut it, but she also doubted that Alan would seriously mind and curiosity really wanted to know if that handle sticking out from under those papers actually belonged to what she thought it did.
She crouched down on the floor and reached into the safe, pushing aside a stack of folders. It was near the back of safe and she reached in and picked it up gingerly, taking it out slowly, not sure if it was loaded.
A gun. She smiled a little. Alan had never struck her the type, but having grown up in Arizona it was hardly the first one she had ever seen. It was a little curious but she didn’t place much importance on it.
She carefully placed the gun back and shut the safe door.