Henry had rented out a warehouse and built the office set inside. The set looked quite realistic. There was a large mahogany conference table with plush, leather arm chairs set around it, a large abstract painting on the wall and several potted plants in the corners. There was a set of double doors at one end and a large map spread out on the table.
It was bizarre to look at the elegance of the business room and compare it to the grunge of the rest of the warehouse. Henry had said as long as there weren’t any rodents to destroy the set and any roof leaks were over non-essential equipment then it would do. It had become something of a running joke, how absolutely awful the rest of the building was. Almost everyone had teased Henry about it at one point or another and he had taken it all in fairly good stride. Everyone except Holly. She thought it best to stay clear of Henry as must as possible.
She wasn’t entirely clear why he didn’t like her but there was no escaping the fact that he clearly didn’t. They’d been filming for the past three weeks and even in the rehearsals before that, she had got the distinct impression that she bothered him. It wasn’t that he was actually insulting to her or that they’d had any confrontations. It was more subtle than that. He avoided talking to her when he could help it. He avoided eye contact and when they were in a group he seldom responded to anything she said. He wasn’t out and out rude when directing her but at the same time he was definitely brusque.
Holly did have an idea though. She noticed whenever Peter showed up on the set, which was quite often given the fact that he wasn’t even in the film, Henry was a little nicer to her. She wasn’t clear exactly how she’d gotten the part of Antigone though she knew she had Peter to thank for it somehow. Somewhere in there she thought was hidden the reason Henry disliked her and the reason he hid it whenever Peter was around.
Not that she really cared. Especially since she wasn’t particularly a fan of his either. He seemed like a good director but she didn’t understand how Peter could be quite so quick to forgive him. If Henry didn’t want to be friends that was completely fine by her. His friendship didn’t seem to have much value anyways. Besides she had quite enough to worry about without trying to figure a way into Henry’s good graces.
She had spent a week writing the article on Malcolm Grant, laying out as clearly as she could everything she knew about him and his connection with Lionel. It had taken awhile to figure out how to phrase certain parts. Finding the right balance between giving all the facts while avoiding any legal trouble was difficult. As it was, there were several spots Alan’s lawyer recommended she edit to be on the safe side.
Evelyn and McCall had both vehemently argued against the idea of publishing the story.
“Really Holly, this is an absurd idea,” Evelyn had said. “I don’t know how you came up with it but I recommend dropping it instantly. What do you hope to accomplish from it?”
Holly had thought it was best not to mention that the idea had originally come from Alan. Except for Peter. He didn’t argue against the idea though she suspected he wasn’t happy with it. But she felt she owed him the complete truth. She wasn’t sure why but somehow it had felt important.
After the article was finished she had handed it over to Alan’s attorney. The lawyer wasn’t pleased either. It would not, he pointed out, help his client’s case. But Alan must have insisted he help her, because a few days later the article found its way online.
Several people tried to trace its origins but so far they’d all been unsuccessful. At least officially. Even if he couldn’t prove it, Grant had made it perfectly clear he had no doubts who was responsible. Victor had attempted to open a few lines of communication between Holly and some smaller studios and Peter had apparently, though Holly wasn’t supposed to know so she pretended not to, offered to do a third Crocodiles in Space movie if they agreed to cast her as well. But Grant had shut it all down. He was doing a very effective job of making sure that after Antigone was wrapped, she’d have nowhere else to work. On top of which there seemed to be rather an organized effort in the press to write negative articles about her whenever they could, and there wasn’t much doubt about who was organizing them.
“Ms. Woods? The director is ready for you now.”
Holly was pulled out of her reverie by Phryne, the nineteen year old intern who seemed to be completely oblivious of all the drama that had been going on around the set was just thrilled to be there. It was rather nice talking to Phryne. Everything felt very simple and straightforward.
“Thank you.” Holly stood up and crossed the warehouse towards the set. Henry was giving instructions to the other actors, Jules and William, about the scene and nodded to her curtly as she approached. “Ready,” she said, smiling at the other two.
There was a slightly awkward pause when no one really moved and Holly wasn’t sure if there was something she was supposed to do or say that she had embarrassingly forgot.
“We’re just waiting for Rilla, we need her to touch up a couple of the costumes,” said Jules, once she realized Henry wasn’t explaining.
Henry went over to speak to the cameraman.
William smiled. “Rilla’s a bit slow isn’t she?”
Holly wanted to sit down in one of the leather chairs to wait, but a streak of pride argued that she didn’t want to look tired in front of Henry.
She watched him talk to the cameraman for another ten minutes before he checked his watch and called out, “Where’s Rilla?”
“Um, excuse me sir?” Phryne had approached him looking very sheepish and not a little unlike she was about to break the news of the death of a loved one. “She doesn’t appear to be here?”
“What? It’s ten o’clock she should have been here an hour ago.”
“I’m…sorry?” Phryne said, helplessly.
“It’s not your fault,” Henry waved it away and smiled at the girl. “She probably just hit some bad traffic.” He turned to the cast. “Alright. We’ll film without the changes. The costumes will be good enough as they are. Get to your places.“