There was a knock on the trailer door.
“Alright! Thanks!” Holly called back. She shut her book and tossed her Styrofoam coffee cup in the trash. She grabbed a jacket she had thrown over one of the chairs and slipped it on, pulling her hair out from under the back of it as she opened the trailer door and stepped out. Frank was just exiting as well from the trailer next door. He waved at her and the two started over towards the filming area together.
“Did you hear it’s going to be a regular old reunion?” he asked.
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Guess who’s going to play our new Rhonda?”
Holly stopped dead in her tracks. “You’re kidding?”
“Nope. I don’t think she’s been officially asked yet, so it could not pan out but that’s the idea. I know you two don’t get along that well but you made a whole movie together. You can stand each other for a few scenes.”
Holly wavered, not sure how to explain or even if she was supposed to. She opened her mouth to say something but Frank had already looked away and was walking again. She changed her mind and caught up with him. He had not, she realized, actually asked her a question, nor did he seem to expect a response.
They reached the circle of cameras, equipment, and crew. A makeup artist hurried over and touched up Holly’s makeup before she and Frank took their places in the center of the set and take one began.
Holly tried to concentrate. It was an easy scene. Exchange a few lines, hand Frank a folder, and then walk away. But she’d fumble the lines, or drop the folder or forgot to hand it to him. When she did finally manage to make it through the whole thing without an obvious mistake, she was still aware that it had been clunky and awkward.
She knew she should concentrate on the here and now but couldn’t keep he brain focused. She kept thinking about Cynthia. What if the woman kept taking and selling pictures? She’d have ample opportunity if they were working together again, then there’d be the wrap parties and premieres.
Even if Cynthia didn’t do it again, Holly wasn’t sure she could stand to work with her under the circumstances. The more she thought about what Cynthia had done, the angrier she was about it.
“Cut!” The director yelled. “Holly, what’s the problem? This isn’t that difficult a scene.”
“I know. I know. I’m sorry Doug, I’m just distracted.”
“Well get your head back in the game if you don’t want to be here all day working on it.”
“I will. I’m sorry.”
“Alright. Let’s take ten and come back to it fresh then.”
Holly sighed and glanced over towards Frank who’d started up a conversation with one of the more attractive female crew members. He gave Holly a sympathetic little smile but kept talking. Annoyed with herself, Holly crossed over to the water fountain and got herself a drink. She could worry about Cynthia later, for now she had to get through this scene.
Holly started in surprise, spilling some water on herself. “Shoot.” She grabbed a paper towel and dabbed at her costume. She glanced over at the speaker and froze in surprise. “Mr. Grant.” She set down her cup and tossed away the towel. “This is a surprise. How are you?”
“I’m excellent. I was in a meeting just across the street and I thought I’d come visit the set. It seems to be going well.”
“Yes?” She wasn’t sure if he was being sincere or it was sarcasm and he’d just seen her performance.
“Excellent.” He smiled at her. “I’m truly excited by this film. I think it’s going to be a great success. Due in no small part to you and Frank.”
“Thank you,” she said nervously. She could sense something going on that she did not quite understand and it concerned her. The last time that had been the case … well, it had been something fairly big and awful.
“I’m deeply thrilled that you’re a part of Montell Studios. I hope this will be the first of many of our films you work on.”
“Assuming this one is successful,” said Holly, feeling uncomfortable.
“I’m sure it will. Victor you know sings your praises.”
“Victor is very kind.”
“But also honest. And I think he may be right. You could very easily be the next big thing. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, please just let me know and I’ll be glad to help.”
“Thank you. I appreciate that.”
“And now that I think of it, I’m having a party this Friday. It’s very select. Important people of the industry will be there who it would be very useful for you to meet. I’d love it if you’d come.”
“Yes. It starts at seven o’clock.”
“Perfect. I’ll see you Friday then.”
She frowned as she watched him turn and start to leave, when suddenly an idea popped into her head. She didn’t allow herself time to think it through because she expected if she did, she would second guess herself. But she was tired of worrying and tired of feeling awful and tired of pictures in the paper, and it wasn’t as if Cynthia were completely innocent herself in all this.
He turned and waited as she caught up with him.
“I’m sorry to have to ask you this. And I completely understand if it’s out of line and you don’t want to get involved. But you did just say if I needed any help I could come to you.”
“Of course. What is it?”
“One of the actresses just dropped out of the film and they needed a replacement for her. The director wants to ask Cynthia Tomes. You might remember she and I were in a film? We don’t have a good working relationship. It would be extremely difficult to have her on set and I was wondering if there was any way at all that you could possibly convince Doug to go with someone else?”
“Certainly. That won’t be a problem. It’s done.”
“Are you sure?” asked Holly suddenly doubtful. “I mean if it’s wrong or unprofessional-”
“If you can’t work with her, its good you told me. It’ll be better for the film if we have someone you can get along with. I’ll talk to Doug and see who else we can come up with.”
“Thank you,” Holly said with a tone of uncertainty. Now that the request was out she was worried that perhaps she had crossed a line.
However, she tried to remind herself, Cynthia had crossed a line of her own and as Holly remembered the photograph from the nightclub she felt better. When they resumed filming a few minutes later, Holly got through the scene perfectly.