When Holly returned to the terrace, Frank had been joined by three other people. He waved Holly over, and she slipped into a seat beside him, scooting back over his phone. He pocketed it, too engrossed in his present conversation to remember any curiosity over her use of the cellphone.
Holly kept looking out of the corner of her eye at the rest of the party, waiting to spot Grant, wanting to see what he acted like.
“Holly, want to come?”
She blinked and turned to look at Frank. “What?”
“To the club?”
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. What are you talking about?”
Frank grinned. “We’re ditching and going clubbing. Want to come?”
“That sounds…why don’t you give me the address and I’ll meet you there in half an hour or so? I need to talk to Grant before I leave.”
“Are you sure? We can wait.”
“No. Go on ahead. I’ll catch up.”
“Okay.” Frank scribbled down the address and he and the others filed out. Holly waited several minutes to give them time to leave before standing up herself and walking inside to look around the room. She spotted Grant by one of the doorways and made her way over to him. Curiosity had won out over tact. Something was off and it bothered her.
“Hello,” she said, smiling as she reached him. “How are you?”
“Holly, I’m glad you could make it.” He returned the smile but she noticed one his hands fidgeting with the contents of his pocket and she sensed his attention was not focused on her.
“Is everything okay?” she asked, trying not to sound too pointed.
“Of course.” His smile dropped and he frowned at her. “Why do you ask?”
She shrugged. “You just seem a little tense and when I went to use the restroom I heard some kind of commotion.”
“Oh.” If his attention had not been with her before, it certainly was now. He was studying her intently. She wasn’t sure what he was looking for or how she should respond. She tried to look innocently concerned. She hoped she was that good an actress. Whatever Grant had been hoping for, he must not have found it because he looked distinctly unsatisfied as he shook his head. “There was just a party crasher. A photographer hoping for some easy pictures. I had my security guards escort him out.”
Holly nodded, both to Grant and to herself. It was a credible story and one she’d believe…if Lionel had never approached her at the restaurant.
“Now,” said Grant, “there are some people I’d like to introduce you to. Important people.”
The next forty minutes were introductions and business cards, numbers exchanged and small talk. The people Grant introduced her to all seemed to be studio executives and producers, and apparently all close friends of Grant’s. Several of them mentioned film projects and promised to have scripts sent over to her. Instinctively she knew it was because Grant was at her shoulder introducing her. It meant something to them.
Grant finally left her alone in conversation with a small group of producers, and she excused herself as soon as she could. She slipped out of the house and got her car from the valet, and drove toward the club. She felt uneasy but couldn’t put her finger on why. Something about the experience she hadn’t liked.
Was it just that experience or was it something else? Maybe it had nothing to do with Grant, or Lionel, or any of that. Perhaps, she admitted to herself, the real problem was the same thing that she’d been struggling with for the past three months now. Alan.
She kept asking herself how she could be so wrong about him. If she could trust him and be wrong, how could she really trust anyone again, let alone herself?
Why don’t you ask him that?, a voice in her head demanded.
No, she snapped back, that’s not an option.
She sighed heavily, feeling suddenly weary. Maybe she should skip the club. But by now she was only ten minutes away and it was closer than home, which at this point seems such an insurmountable distance away.
Holly parked out back the club and took the rear entrance. She gave Frank’s name to the bouncer and was led to the VIP room.
Frank and the other party guests were crowded round a table that was already laden with drinks. He waved to Holly excitedly. She grinned, already feeling a little better at the prospect of distraction.