The bus stop was crowded. Cameras and lights were set up along one side of a bench. It was early evening and the director was trying to hurry along final setup before it got much later.
Holly sat on the bench, holding for a minute as the makeup artist adjusted her eyeliner. Frank emerged from the circle of people and sat down beside her.
“This is taking a ridiculously long time,” he grumbled. Holly shrugged. “I thought you were moving today into your new house.”
“Who did you get to manage the movers?” Frank asked, leaning back lazily.
“Evelyn insisted on overseeing things. She was already going to keep an eye while they were at her place to make sure they didn’t pack up anything they weren’t supposed to, so she said it wasn’t any extra trouble to follow them to the house.”
“Evelyn happy to finally get her place back to herself?”
“Probably. It has been three months. I couldn’t stay there with her indefinitely.”
“What about your old roommate? She missing you?”
Holly ran a hand across her hair. “I haven’t really spoken to Amy in…awhile. But with the increase in photographers, going back to my old apartment just wasn’t practical.”
“Frank!” the director called out, “can you adjust your jacket?”
There was one final brief spurt of activity before the director yelled out action and everyone fell quiet. The scene was wrapped in ten minutes and Holly, relieved, hurried to her trailer. She changed quickly out of her costume and hung it up, hanging it on a hook for the costume department to pick up later. She scrubbed off her makeup and grabbed her purse, heading back outside.
She found her car, and got in, waving goodbye to a passing costar, before pulling out of the parking spot and merging onto the street. She couldn’t help but feel a little excited, as she turned left in the direction of her new house.
She had a house. At least she was renting one. And it was her own. Evelyn had been extremely welcoming the past few months, but the thought of a little privacy was very welcoming. It was a little ways away from the center of town, up in the hills with only a few neighbors and a beautiful view.
The house itself was a single story, adobe style, with brown and tan tiling on the floors and Mexican and Spanish artwork on the walls. The rooms were large and there was a patio in back. A stucco wall surrounded three sides of the property and the fourth side, which looked over a edge of the hill, had a low stone barrier.
Holly reached the house and punched in the code at the electronic gate before driving in. She parked directly outside the front door and stepped out of the car, already rooting around in her purse for the house keys. As she placed the key into the lock she couldn’t help but smile.
It had been an awful three months. Filming was difficult to say the least. There were constantly photographers that seemed to crop up wherever she went. The questions. The tabloids. The rumors. It felt sometimes as if it had all taken over her life, as if each day she was just trying to get through it all. But right now it was just her, the house, and her excitement, and it was a relief.
She turned the key and stepped inside. Several boxes lined the hall, along with a suitcase of clothes Evelyn had brought over. Holly walked through the house, checking the kitchen, living room, two bed rooms, den, and office. They were all furnished, but without any personal affects unpacked, it all seemed formal and empty. She made her way back into the hall and carried the suitcase into the master bedroom where she began to unpack.
She was hanging dresses in the closet when her cellphone rang. She grabbed it off the nightstand.
“Holly! It’s Nikki!”
“Oh you’re back. How was New York and Chicago?”
“Great. But I’m pretty exhausted now. Did so much promotion, went to so many interviews and talk shows, if one more person asks me what it was like working on a film ever again, I think I’m likely to throw something.”
Holly laughed. “At least you’re done now until it opens right?”
“Mostly. I’ve promised Tobin an interview for his magazine. Can’t really get out of that under the circumstances. Anyways, I’m actually calling to see if you wanted to grab some dinner tonight? Maybe at Christie’s?”
Holly took a seat on the bed. “Sounds fun.”
“Great. That’s what we’ll do then. How are you by the way? Sorry I’ve been so MIA this past month.”
“I’ve been fine. Moved in to my brand new house today.”
“Yeah, I saw the pictures online. It looks fantastic.”
Holly frowned. “What pictures?”
“Oh. Well…” Nikki cleared her throat uncertainly. “There were some pictures on some tabloid’s website?”
“They were posted sometime today.”
“Were the pictures of the outside?”
“Well yes and…also the inside.”
“How would they have got those?” Holly asked, “The house is supposed to be private. They couldn’t have gotten any from the inside.”
“Probably the real estate agent? It’s not a huge deal is it?”
“I-” Holly sighed. “I suppose not. Look I want to finish unpacking some of my clothes. I’ll meet you at the restaurant in an hour and half?”
Holly tossed her cellphone onto the bed and sighed. It shouldn’t bother her quite as much as it did. And yet, this house was supposed to be about fresh starts and privacy and it bothered her knowing there were photos of it circulating the web. She resisted the urge to look at them.