“That was…nice. But could you say that again with a little more feeling this time?”
The small cast and crew had gathered in a small circle backstage. I rolled my eyes as the scrawny, blond boy next to me cleared his throat and politely obliged, repeating his line that to everyone but her had been perfectly delivered in his initial attempt.
“Nice job, Oliver. Next line,” IT said without looking up or even acknowledging that IT had, for the tenth time, interrupted a run-through like IT owned the place.
Clearly, the arrogant one here was her.
Okay, fine. I’m the arrogant one. But at least I know how to shut the hell up. The b**** can’t go three seconds without giving her two cents on something.
This incessant harassment of the cast continued until we were given a small break from the run-through of the script. At that point I was thoroughly exhausted and annoyed. Muttering indecencies under my breath, I made my way to the refreshment table at the foot of the stage. No sooner had I spotted Mason gorging himself on a powder donut.
“Hey,” he said, seeing me. Mason was one of the few people I trusted, and probably my best friend. He was a good-natured guy, and a good-looking one I’d say too if I wasn’t so homophobic. He was much more athletic than I was, so naturally he was rather built. He had that whole Edward Cullen thing going on with the big hair and the girly eyelashes. And if you looked closely, you’d see that his brown eyes had specks of hazel in them.
Not that I was, in any way, checking him out. I’m merely a keen observer of physical human characteristics.
“Congrats on getting the lead, man. Knew you would,” he said, one hand on the donut, the other slapping me on the chest.
I grinned. Oddly enough, he had gotten a very small part. And I, being the grand friend I was, found it my responsibility to rub it in. “Thanks, passerby number three. I knew I’d get it too.”
“Remind me never to compliment you again,” Mason replied dryly, chewing his last bits and swallowing them.
“Sure I won’t. That’d be too much work on my part. Not my fault God blessed me with outstanding talent and wasn’t as…generous with others.”
At this he smeared the white from the palms of his hands down the sleeves of my sweater. My eyes were wild as I shoved him away. He stumbled backward, guffawing.
“S***. Idiot, this is a thousand dollar Louis!”
He continued laughing as I contemplated throwing him one square in the face. Wouldn’t hurt him too much. Then again, he’d probably hit me back harder and I’d regret it.
She had crept up without either of us noticing. Her tone, as always, was sarcastic and patronizing. “Well, you know what they say. Never underestimate the power of stupid people with money.” She was slowly stirring her cup of coffee with a straw, her eyes downcast.
Ugh. Can’t she go play Nazi somewhere else? Preferably somewhere far like…maybe…the moon?
As if he hadn’t already annoyed the hell out of me already today, Mason nodded at her and had to hold his stomach to try and stifle his laughs. As April sipped at her drink, her lips gradually curled into a smirk.
I shot him a vicious glare. Some friend.
“That’s mean, Mason. Now you’ve gone and made her think she has some sort of appeal. I’m sorry. Let me clear that up for you,” I cleared my throat. “You’re not funny, you’re not nearly as intelligent as you think you are and you are most definitely not attractive in any way shape or form. But of course, you didn’t need me to tell you that, considering your track record with the boys is…well…nonexistent”
She rolled her eyes and stalked off.
“You’re welcome!” I called after her. The break was over. Mason’s laughter had long died.
Well, it was true. She was plainest of Plain Janes. Granted, you’d think some girls would at least try and hide that. But other than straggly blonde hair fixed up in a bun every single day, and a clean face adorned with dark eyes and slightly crooked lips, all she’s left with for charm is personality. And since that was out of the question, I’m afraid her romantic endeavors must’ve been severely limited.
Doing my best to pat myself free of the powder and even rolling up my sleeves a bit, I returned to my stool in the circle. April announced for the cast to continue. But other than that she was thoroughly subdued and did not speak once throughout the rest of it. I hid a smile, pleased.
I was bestowed a very, very pleasant view of the opening actress currently reading her line across from me. She hadn’t been out of my mind much—she’s always in there somewhere—but seeing her evoked very passionate thoughts and feelings from various areas of my body.
Mary Louise had stolen—and kept—my attention longer than any woman had the right to. She visited my thoughts more often than I cared to admit--and not just because she was beautiful, sexy and all things a man dreamed of. Or because of her petite, feminine figure and dark skin. Not even her hypnotic, green eyes or adorable pixie cut.
She was also smart, refined, talented and very difficult to fathom. An endless plethora of surprises.
Her eyes met mine, her face serene and unsmiling, and for a second I forgot who I was. Blinking rapidly, my brain cleared up enough that I was able to catch on and deliver my phrase when the time came.
I swear she does that on purpose. She loved to make me look like an idiot, didn’t she?