Clint heard the key turn in the lock. Since only one person had the key other than himself, he smiled at the sound even if he didn’t turn around as the door opened.
“Good party?” he asked over his shoulder.
“It turned out not to be so bad. No thanks to you,”’ Nikki teased, coming over to sit down next to him on the couch.
“I’ll come to the next one. I promise. I just really needed to get through some work for the exhibit.”
“That’s alright. I spent a nice time chatting with Holly and Peter. They were there together.”
There was a moment as this sunk in and Clint turned to look at her.
“Yes. I mean not ‘together’. I don’t think.”
“What on earth do you mean? They were together or they weren’t.”
“I mean they came to the party together but not in the same way you and I would have gone together.”
“Ah,” Clint grinned. “Back to that are we? Was that a pointed comment?”
“No.” Nikki nudged him playfully. “But you’re not getting out of next month’s music awards, that’s for sure.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He kissed her.
Nikki wrapped her arm through his and sighed contentedly.
“How were they by the way?”
She glanced up at him. “Hmm?”
“Holly and Peter.”
“Oh. Alright I think. Peter wasn’t thrilled about the party and Holly is a little stressed out. She’s practically co-producing Antigone with McCall now. But I think she’s actually enjoying it. Oh! Which reminds me. I have some exciting news. Holly has asked me to write and record a song for the movie. To play over the closing credits.”
“How kind of her,” said Clint dryly.
“There’s no need to be like that. Of course I know why she’s asking. She was very open about it in fact. She wants me to help promote the film and the song will be a great way to do that. I don’t mind and I’ve never written a song specifically for a movie before. It will be something new and fun.”
“You didn’t actually agree to do it did you?”
Nikki disentangled herself from him and crossed her arms. “Of course I agreed. Why wouldn’t I? And remember you’re not my manager anymore.”
“This has nothing to do with being your manager. Nik, her career is on the verge of collapse and she could easily bring other people down with her.”
Nikki rolled her eyes. “You’re being overly dramatic.”
“No. I’m being practical. You’ve only just recently built your career back up. You get on the wrong side of the right people and it could come tumbling back down again.”
“If my career can fall apart because I do a favor for a friend, it’s not much of a career. Now relax while I get us some beers. Clearly you need one.”
“You can continue over-reacting when I get back.”
Clint sighed and rubbed his forehead as she left the room. Alright, just sound her out to see exactly how much promotion she’s planning to do on Holly’s behalf. She might easily have a point and you could be overreacting.
But he couldn’t deny he’d felt uneasy ever since Grant’s little visit…
Clint turned around to see Nikki standing in the kitchen doorway, two bottles of beer in one hand and a business card in the other.
“This is Malcolm Grant’s business card,” she said slowly, answering her own question.
“Yes it is.”
Nikki moved into the room, placing the beers down on a side table. “When did you get this?”
“He dropped by the studio. It turns out he’s the one that arranged that it be offered to me at such a good price.”
“When were you going to tell me this?”
“I don’t know. Once I’d figured things out.”
“Figured what out? Is this why you don’t want me to help Holly?”
“What? No, Nik, I’m just trying to figure out the right thing to do here. Get involved, don’t get involved. Holly and Grant are in all-out war it seems and there are going to be casualties.” He got to his feet and took the business card from her. “I just want to minimize the damage. Grant gave me this card and I have to figure out how to respond…trust me.”
Nikki sighed, “Of course I trust you. I’m just worried.”
“You don’t have to be.”
“Well if you’re going to worry about me, I certainly get to worry about you.”
He laughed. “Fair enough. Why don’t we both stop worrying then, forget this whole thing and drink our beers while we watch a movie.”
“Deal,” she said, but she sighed a little bit and he knew she wasn’t forgetting the issue any faster than he was.