The theater was smaller than the last one Holly attended a premiere at. But it also felt more elegant. McCall had clearly spared no expense when making arrangements for this evening.
A few speeches were made. McCall said a few words, Holly followed him, Walsh finished things up, and then they were settling in as the lights dimmed and the film began.
When the closing credits ran an hour and forty-five minutes later, Holly breathed a sigh of relief. It had been good. She glanced over at McCall’s face and noticed he was beaming. Yes, she thought with satisfaction, Antigone will do alright.
There was the happy rumble of an excited audience as everyone stood and started making their way back out into the lobby. People kept coming up to congratulate Holly, and she found herself the center of a small circle that was excitedly telling her how much they loved the film.
“And that final scene! I thought I couldn’t bear it. It was so heart-rending!”
“It was marvelous. You must be so proud.”
“Everyone did a fantastic job.”
“And your performance in the board room scene!”
“I thought it was very good,” said a familiar voice behind her.
Holly swirled around. “Peter!”
“Hi … oh. Um, excuse me,” she said hastily to the rest of the crowd, and taking Peter’s arm, led him off to the edge of the lobby for a little privacy. “You came.”
“Of course I came,” he said, smiling at her. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
“I just thought-, well I looked for you before it started.”
“Ah. Yes. Sorry. I was late. Flat tire on the way over. And since I couldn’t really change it in a tux, I had to find a cab. I slinked in during the opening credits. I’m sorry I missed the speeches.”
“I’m just glad you made it. Thank you for coming. It means a lot.”
“It was my pleasure. It really was, Holly. And everyone seemed to enjoy it too. I think you’re going to have a hit on your hands.”
Holly grinned. “I hope so.”
“Is that Amy over there?”
“Hmm? Oh yeah. She’s catering.”
“So you two are good now?”
“Definitely. And speaking of good, Henry apologized and he and I are also good now so, you know…”
“You know what?”
She shrugged. “Maybe the two of you could grab coffee some time?”
Peter started to chuckle. “Coffee?”
“I don’t know. Whatever you two used to do when you were friends. You know, make a gesture.”
He looked skeptical but shrugged. “I suppose.” Catching sight of someone across the room he hesitated and then sighed. “Could you give me one minute? There’s someone I should talk to.”
“Oh…yeah sure. Of course.”
“Great. I’ll be right back and then maybe we could have a celebratory drink.”
Holly nodded. “I would like that.”
Peter crossed the lobby to where Clint was standing, leaning against a wall and looking extremely bored. Peter waved.
“Hey. I didn’t know you were coming tonight.”
“Holly invited Nikki and Nikki wanted me, so …” Clint shrugged.
“I heard about the engagement. Congratulations.”
“Ah.” Clint couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. “Yeah. Most of her friends think she’s insane but, I really couldn’t care less. And neither could she. So that’s alright.”
“Because of the photographs? The ones for Grant?”
“Yes. Hasn’t done wonders for my career or my reputation. But the latter was never much anyways so I suppose there’s not much lost.”
“I don’t think I’ve said it yet, but thank you. For what you did for Holly.”
Clint ran a hand through his hair. “I did it for a lot of reasons.”
“I know. But it helped. And I know it cost you.” Peter held out at his hand and after a moment Clint shook it. “So what are you going to do now?”
“Nikki told Holly that pretty much everyone that put in orders for you work at the exhibition has since cancelled.”
“Yeah, that’s what they do when they’re really buying your photographs because they know your girlfriend and not because they actually like them. So I’ll live. I’ll do what everyone else does in a situation like this: I’ll start over and work my way to the top. Or the middle. Or wherever I end up. One way or another, it’ll turn out fine.”
“Are you turning into an optimist?”
Clint laughed. “No. Just someone who’s very content with where they are right now. Which is just bizarre for me.”