Holly spent most of the day relaxing. She made herself a sandwich at around noon and hunkered down on the couch with a good book. It felt pleasant just being able to take the day off and ignore the world for a little bit.
Shortly after two, Alan called to check in.
“It went well,” said Holly, setting aside her book, “Mal didn’t say much afterwards but Frank said that was pretty usual for him. Apparently he likes to play his cards close to the chest.”
“I concur on that. He’s an odd man. I remember meeting him while filming The White Crusader. It was probably the most bizarre conversation I ever had. He went on about the importance of personal image and the impact on the film. It was completely out of nowhere. I got the sense he expected me to go on some scandalous rampage or something. I only learned afterwards how close the studio was to folding though. I guess that just made him unusually cautious. Still not sure what set him off on that particular route however. But he’s got a great second sense on directors and actors. Hires some of the best and really knows his business.”
“He seems nice enough,” said Holly. “He’s friendly. But I always get the sense it’s more a formality then him actually being a friendly guy.”
“Insincerity does tend to be an epidemic in this business. Speaking of business, how has the paparazzi been?”
“Pretty good. They’ve either not figured out where I am yet, or just aren’t interested. Amy called this morning and said they’re not hanging around the apartment as much so they’ve figured out I’m not there. How about you? Any trouble up in New York?”
“No more than usual. It’s nice to be back. Someday I’d like to take you here. I think you’d enjoy it.”
“Definitely. Some day we should do that.” Her phone let out a beep, alerting her to an incoming call. She checked the caller id. “Alan, could I talk to you later? Victor’s calling. He might have news on the part.”
“Of course. I’ll see you in a couple of days. My flight will be in the afternoon, so I should see you sometime in the evening.”
“Sounds good. Love you. Bye.” She hung up and answered Victor’s call.
“Yes?” she answered nervously.
“Mal asked me to call you. He’s reached a decision and he wants both you and Frank for the film.”
“He was very impressed by the screen test and thinks you’ll both work great together.”
“Victor I can’t thank you enough!”
“I hope that means you’ve decided to take the part?” he said.
“Yes. I have. I’ll let Ian know tomorrow.”
“Great, I’m really happy. I think this is a really good career move for you. I’m having a messenger bring you over a copy of the full script. He should be there in about half an hour. And then we can sign contracts next week.”
“I’m about to call Frank now and let him now. But just wanted to say congratulations Holly.”
“Thank you.” She hung up and let out a squeal of excitement. She sent Alan a quick text message with the news and then hurried outside. She took a seat on the front steps and waited impatiently for the messenger to show up.
The script arrived twenty minutes later. She didn’t bother for the messenger to be let in. As soon as she heard voices at the gate she hurried outside and met him there. She took the script inside, and began reading it eagerly.
It was fun. There was a lot of romance, a little comedy, some scenes that felt like they would be very suspenseful once filmed. It was very engrossing and with each page she became more and more excited at the idea of acting in it.
Holly finished the script a little before seven. As she reached the last page her stomach gave a rumble and reminded her she hadn’t had much besides a beer and a sandwich all day. She ordered Chinese delivery and tried to watching a little TV, but she was too excited to concentrate on it.
She hesitated for a minute, and then grinned. She picked the script back up and started reading through it again, this time reading her lines out load, imagining how each scene would play out on film.
A part of her felt like this was the first big part she had really earned. She had enjoyed working on The Box of Edward II. It had been fun. And plenty of people at the premiere seemed to genuinely think she had done a good job. But she still knew that she’d gotten the part thanks to her friendship with Victor. And while she had been considered for this part because of the same friendship, the final choice had been Mal’s and she had had to prove herself to him with the screen test.
Her food arrived, and she continued reading.
Holly was reaching the last act of the script, when she gave a large yawn. She glanced at her watch and was surprised to see it was nearly eleven. She yawned again. She had work tomorrow…
“A few more pages,” she told herself.
It was dark. The only light was from a small lamp on the side table and the lights shining in from the yard outside. She turned a page and then looked up suddenly.
There’d been…a noise. She couldn’t quite place it. She strained her ears to try and hear it again. It had sounded like it came from the back of the house.
Minutes ticked by. She shook her head. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening again and couldn’t be very important.
She tried to find her place again on the page.
INT. JOHNSON’S OFFICE. NIGHT.
LANA holsters her gun and hurries towards JOHNSON’s computer. She sits down at the desk, tense and-
Holly looked up quickly toward the doorway to the hall. She could have sworn-
She placed the script down beside her and slowly moved her feet off the couch to the floor. She glanced towards her cellphone which she left on a far side table when the delivery man had called.
She was being stupid. She had to be. There wasn’t anyone else in the house. How could there? Hadn’t Alan told her all about the alarm system and how good it was and how-…she’d forgotten to turn it on hadn’t she? She’d come back from the test, gotten the beer, watched TV, and the security system had completely slipped her mind.
Holly stood up abruptly. That had definitely been a noise that time. It had sounded like a door being opened. A door very close by.
But who would break in? A robber? Perhaps, only it didn’t sound like anything was being taken. So who-
The two break-ins to Alan’s trailer. The break-ins to his hotel room in Australia. The letters he’d been receiving. Robin.