Peter arrived on the Antigone set later that afternoon in a decidedly bad mood. He looked around for Holly and as soon as he caught sight of her, he felt the tension in his shoulders begins to relax.
She saw him as well and waved him over towards the coffee dispenser.
“Here, you want some?”
“No thank you.” As she poured herself one, he took in the fancy, glittery evening gown she was dressed in. “You look nice.”
“I’m about to be killed.”
“We’re about to film my assassination scene.”
“Ah. Well it least it’s going to happen in style.”
She grinned. “Yes. You should always die well dressed.” Holly noticed something over his shoulder and waved. Peter glanced around.
A man was heading in their direction with a video camera in hand.
“Luke, hi,” said Holly. “I don’t think you’ve met Peter. Peter this is Luke.”
“Hey.” Peter was aware his tone was somewhat hostile but whatever the camera was for, he wasn’t in the mood.
“Good to meet you,” said Luke.
“Luke here has got a channel online about movies,” said Holly. “He’s going to do some videos for Antigone.”
“As well as an interview with Holly here next weekend.”
Holly nodded. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Sounds great,” said Peter. The tone was still there. Holly noticed it too this time and she glanced at him curiously.
“Luke, have you had a chance to meet our costume designer yet?” she asked abruptly. “Matilda?”
“You should. She and I also worked together on Homestead. She’s great and she’s on set today. I believe she’s over talking to makeup if you’d like to catch her.”
“Thanks! I’ll do that.”
Holly waited until Luke was out of earshot before turning to Peter. He expected her to be ticked off but instead she merely looked concerned.
“Is everything alright?”
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. I should have put on a better face. I know PR is important for this movie.”
“Hey, forget about Luke. You’re not in the movie. He’s hardly going to hold you against it. I’m just concerned about you. Has something happened?”
“No. Not really. I’m just railing against what can’t be changed, which at this point of my life you’d think I’d know better than to do. I found out a couple of days ago that I have to do PR for the Crocodiles sequel, with Henry no less. And then this morning I got a call from the network and I have to go to some network party next Saturday. There’ll be photographers for part of it so they’ve decided it counts as a PR event.”
“But you never know. A party? Maybe it’ll be fun.”
He laughed dryly. “I doubt it.”
“Don’t be such a pessimist.”
“A party with no one to talk to is never going to be a lot of fun.”
“Maybe there will be someone you can talk to.”
“Yes, Henry and I could swap stories about how much we disagree on practically everything. And that will be the best conversation option there.”
“You could always bring someone along to talk to. That’s what I do. Or used to.”
“Yeah, right. Who would want to come? You?” He shook his head.
“Sure, why not?”
There was a beat. “Really?”
Holly laughed. “You came with me to one of my events to be my talking buddy. I can be yours.”
“You don’t have to.”
“But I’d like to. I think we’d have fun.”
“We really won’t. But I’m going to have more fun with you there than I would without so I’m taking you up on your offer before common sense kicks its way into your head.”
Holly grinned. “What time will it be?”
“Great. I’ll definitely be done with Luke’s interview by then. What kind of party is it? Cocktail? Dinner?”
“Cocktails and dancing I believe.”
“We will not dance.”
“Oh really?” Holly crossed her arms and gave a mischievous smile. “Why not?”
“When I could still dictate terms in my contracts, every one of them said very clearly that any dancing done would have to be performed by a stunt double.”
“Not a Fred Astaire huh?”
“I blame prom. I have vivid memories of tripping over my date’s feet and knocking over the punch bowl. I still flashback to it when I have to dance.”
Holly raised an eyebrow. “You went to prom?”
“Yes. I went to prom.”
Peter laughed. “Yes. Why not me? Think I couldn’t get a date.”
“No, I didn’t mean that. I just can’t picture you in high school.”
“It was sophomore prom. The only prom I ever went to. My date and I only went together because the people we actually wanted to go with, went with each other. And they won prom queen and king. You know, just to rub salt in the wound.”
“Doesn’t sound like a great evening.”
“Actually Helen and I ended up having a lot of fun.”
“And whatever happened to Helen?”
“She joined the Peace Core eventually. Last I heard she married a Burkinabé.”
Holly chuckled again. “I’m finding it so hard to picture you at a prom.”
“I was a teenager once you know.”
“I’m not sure I believe that.”
“There are photos to prove it.”
“I think you’re going to have to show them. I’ll only believe they exist if I can see them with my own eyes.”
A voice called out from across the room: “Holly!”
She set down her coffee. “That will be Walsh. We’re about to film. How about afterwards we go grab a bite to eat? I’m starving.”
“Alright then.” She ran off across the set.
Watching her go, Peter realized that his bad mood had completely vanished.