Holly bypassed the elevator, not wanting to give Evelyn a chance to talk to her. She took the stairwell, running down each flight of stairs until she nearly tripped and had to grasp the railing to keep her balance. She forced herself to go slower after that, but once she was finally outside she didn’t feel any calmer. She wanted to yell at someone, she wanted to cry, she wanted to break something, she wanted to run away. She just didn’t know which feeling was the strongest.
She pulled out her cellphone. She needed to talk to someone. Anyone. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to talk about more though: Lionel or Evelyn.
She opened her contacts list and scrolled through it.
Holly hesitated when she saw the name. Something told her if she called, he would probably listen. But would he really? After she threw him out? After she yelled at him?
She kept scrolling. She saw Nikki’s name and dialed.
It rang several times before she heard Nikki’s voice announcing, “I’m off at the moment. Leave a message and I’ll call you back later.”
“Nikki? It’s Holly. I’m sorry to bother you. I just needed someone to talk to. I was at Evelyn’s and-” She couldn’t explain what Evelyn had said about the nightclubs and Nikki herself. “There’s a paparazzi that died and there’s something not right and I tried to explain it but-” Holly stared helplessly about her. She wasn’t sure she even believed it anymore herself and she didn’t know how to tell it on the phone. “I’m sorry Nikki. Forget it. I’ll talk to you later.” She hung up.
Holly forced herself to take several deep breaths and get into her car. She was early but she might as well head over to the set.
A thought occurred to her suddenly. Amy. They were having coffee that afternoon. Amy would certainly hear her out and understand.
Feeling a little better, Holly turned on the car.
Holly spent most of the day trying to avoid Frank. She wasn’t sure if she ought to confront him or not. She certainly wasn’t going to ask Evelyn now and she didn’t know who else there was to ask. She considered trying to call McCall, but she felt very aware of what Cynthia had said about Holly giving Grant a bad impression of her. McCall was a producer as well after all, and if she told him about Frank would she be prejudicing Victor against him as well?
Thankfully they were mostly filming separately units that day but even so Frank slowly started to notice that something was off.
“Hey Holls.” He sauntered over to where she was being given makeup for her last scene of the day. She fidgeted.
“Frank,” she said, her voice a little strained but grateful that the makeup artist’s work gave her an excuse not to smile at him.
“How’s the car?”
“Look I’m sorry that’s how the evening ended. I know that sucked and your car got wrecked. It really wasn’t Gloria’s fault. I swear she really was sober. I know I tried to break her ‘cleanse’ or whatever rubbish thing it was, but I completely failed. That other driver just came out of nowhere.”
“You do? Good. Well then what’s with the attitude?”
Holly felt the artist’s hand freeze for a moment before continuing on with her work. Holly glanced over at Frank and tried not to glare at him.
“You’ve been giving me the coldshoulder all day and answering me in three words or less. I’m getting a distinctly icy vibe and if you’re not blaming me for the car I’m not sure where it’s coming from. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone through my list of sins and could easily have missed something, but I do like to know what I’m getting punished for.” He grinned at her.
She opened her mouth, about to tell him exactly why she was angry but curiosity got the better of her and before burning any bridges she asked, “Did you tell Grant about that paparazzi who talked to me?”
“The one with dirt on him?” He looked a little sheepish. “I may have mentioned it. Aw come on, it was too good not to.”
“I told you that privately.”
“I know, but it was Grant. How could I resist? It’s not that big a deal, the man didn’t even blink. I think my punishment was definitely the disappointment. Look I can say some hail Holly’s if it’ll make you feel any better.”
“That’s not the point.”
“Holly! Frank!” The director called out. “Are you two ready?”
“Coming!” Holly called back. She stood to her feet and ignoring Frank, walked past him towards the cameras.
The director waved them over to their spots. “You two know the scene right?”
“Great. We’ll be ready in one second. The light just needs to be adjusted.”
Holly crossed her arms and watched as crew adjusted one of the light fixtures. Frank cleared his throat, obviously wanting to test the waters.
“So,” he said, “You’re done for the day after this right?”
“Got any plans for the evening? I’m meeting a couple of friends for drinks if you want to come?”
Holly was very aware of the number of people around them, who’d hear anything she’d say, and decided now was not the time to confront him.
“I’m meeting Amy after this,” she said.
“Oh right the roommate.” Frank grinned and relaxed, obviously taking her reply as a peace offering. “Well mark my words, she’ll want a favor.”
“Not everyone is like that,” said Holly, turning to him abruptly. If her voice was a little accusatory, he didn’t seem to notice.
“Hey you’re still new to all this. You’ll learn that when you’ve become even moderately well known, the people that all of a sudden want to ‘catch up’ either want to use your connections or your money.”
Holly opened her mouth to respond, suddenly not caring about the number of people nearby, but she was cut off by the director calling out they were ready.
It was a pretty simple scene. Holly had five or so lines and since in the script her character was angry at Frank’s, it didn’t require a whole lot of acting. But she was staring at Frank as he talked, the fury building up inside of her, everything he’d done and said running through her head. He projected his own twisted selfishness onto Amy. He had betrayed and taken advantage of Holly’s trust. And he repeatedly pretended to offer friendship and safety. Holly didn’t think she had ever hated someone so much.
She didn’t mean to do it. She didn’t even think about it beforehand. The scene was supposed to end with her character attempting to slap Frank and him ducking. She was getting ready to do just that, but then Frank looked at her and grinned. She barely even realized while she was doing it that her hand had balled into a fist and that she was not aiming to miss. She felt the punch connect and heard Frank give a yelp of pain, holding his hand to a split lip, before she realized she had actually done it.