The door opened a second time and the receptionist popped her head in. She looked a little embarrassed and Holly suddenly realized their argument had probably carried. She flushed and glanced over at Cynthia, who merely picked up a magazine and started flipping through it.
“Excuse me Ms. Woods. She’s ready to see you now.”
“Thank you.” Holly followed the receptionist out of the room and towards Eleanor’s office. She was still fuming. Cynthia was just trying to avoid blame. Frank wouldn’t have done that. Couldn’t have.
She was ushered into the office and Eleanor smiled up at her from her desk. Holly never really liked coming here. The walls were bare, the desk practically bare as well save for a phone and computer. It felt oddly cold and clinical with the white walls and white chairs.
Holly sat down across from the desk, her thoughts still running over the argument with Cynthia. The woman had never liked her, but she’d never gone after Frank before. Why would she do so now? But she was. She had to be. Frank was a friend. Between him, Nikki and Evelyn she’d been able to get through the past three months. He knew that. He knew how hard it had all been. She had talked to him about it. He wouldn’t take advantage of their friendship, he wouldn’t sell pictures.
Eleanor interrupted her thoughts. “Holly?”
“I was asking have you have read the story yet?”
Eleanor sighed and folded her arms. Holly had flashbacks to teachers at school giving her that look.
“I was explaining that the reason I asked you to come in today is because there is a story making the rounds that you were in a DUI last night.”
Holly stared, finally paying Eleanor her full attention. “That’s a lie. I wasn’t.”
“There are pictures.”
“Well yes I was in a car crash and yes it was my car and yes I had been drinking.” Holly blinked, it certainly didn’t sound good. “But I wasn’t the one driving! And the person who was certainly wasn’t drunk.”
“Holly there are photos of you in the driver’s seat.”
Eleanor opened a desk draw and handed over some papers, printed pages from several blogs. Holly frowned as she took them and glanced at the pictures. There was one of the wreck and there was certainly one of her sitting in the driver’s seat but…
“I wasn’t driving,” she protested. “This was after the crash. I was in shock and needed to sit down. That was the nearest seat. And I don’t understand how this picture was taken because there weren’t any photographers and there wasn’t-”
There was Frank. He’d been sitting right next to her and his phone was out.
Somewhere from her memory, as if it had been waiting there all along, she suddenly remembered sitting in the coffee shop, playing with her engagement ring, turning to see Frank walking towards her with his cellphone out and the next day news of the engagement leaking.
She dropped the pages.
“Holly? Is everything alright?”
Holly stood up abruptly, knocking her chair backwards. “No I need-, I just need-, I’m sorry Eleanor I have to go.”
“But we have to discuss-” Holly was already out the door.
She passed the receptionist and hurried out to the hall. She jammed the button for the elevator. Someone came up beside her to wait for the elevator and she jammed the button again impatiently. It felt like an eternity until the doors slid open and Holly stepped in. Several other people were already inside and she closed her eyes, leaning against the wall, trying not to lose control of her emotions.
Once she reached the sidewalk outside it took her a full minute to remember she hadn’t driven her car there. She couldn’t bear the thought of a taxi, not right then, so instead she started walking rapidly down the sidewalk.
Frank’s betrayal stung on a level Cynthia’s hadn’t when she believed it was her who had sold the pictures. He was her friend. He had helped her. And he had taken photos from the club and from last night, pictures that were purposefully false, which he’d known were purposefully false, and he had sold them to tabloids.
And the engagement. He had leaked that. If the tabloids hadn’t known about that, Alan’s arrest might have been easier in one small way at least. And yet Frank had taken her out to nightclubs and restaurants, worked alongside her on the film, laughing and joking and keeping her spirits up and all the time he knew what he’d done. What he was still doing. How many other pictures had he sold? The photos that kept popping up from on the set: were those his too?
Holly felt herself beginning to shake, whether from anger or feelings she’d been avoiding for months now, she didn’t know, but she sunk down on a bench, closed her eyes, and refused to look at the world around her for a little while.