Home > Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss(10)

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss(10)
Kasie West

“Thank you,” I whispered.

She tucked it into her pocket, and I joined Grant.

“Oversleep this morning?” he asked.

My eyes shot to Remy, who was busy inspecting a headstone with the art director. This was our last day at the cemetery. Tonight everything would be packed up and moved to a church. “How did you know I was late?”

“Because Leah did my makeup at a time when she should’ve been doing yours.”

“How much mascara does she use to get your lashes that long?”

He let out a faux gasp. “This is all me, baby.”

Despite his jokey tone, he was being honest. He had long eyelashes, which I knew weren’t enhanced. He probably only got a dusting of foundation and a bit of eyeliner. And a whole lot of hair gel. “What’s your favorite part about this job?” I asked.

“About this particular acting job? Or acting in general?”

“This one.” Even though Amanda said he’d taken the job to win back some fans and redeem his reputation, I wondered if that was the only reason. His salary was probably half the budget, but it still couldn’t have been anything close to what he was used to.

“You, of course.” He winked.

I rolled my eyes. “You say that to all your costars.”

“And I mean it every time.”

I laughed, then stopped and lightly touched my face. “Don’t make me laugh. You’re going to make my chin fall off again.”

“That wouldn’t be my fault. That would be Leah’s. Your chin should be more secure than that.”

“My chin is very secure.”

Remy raised his voice so everyone could hear, “Who broke the headstone?”

“The headstone?” Grant asked.

“A big chunk of it is missing,” he said.

The fake headstone was obviously Styrofoam or something, because the part he was referring to was now white and someone with paints was adding gray to it.

“People,” he said, “be careful on set.” He looked at me when he said this for some reason. I just smiled, hoping to give him a positive image to associate with me. I realized too late that with my zombie face on, it would be a creepy sight.

Remy walked over the mound of dirt and then stopped in front of us. “You two ready?”

“For over an hour now,” Grant said.

“Yes,” Remy said. “Sorry about that—makeup mishap.”

Grant wiggled his eyebrows at me. I just nodded at Remy.

He picked up my hand and inspected my modified nails. “Very undead, right?” he asked with a smile.

“I like them,” I said.

“Good, let’s roll, then,” Remy said.

Two hours passed, and Remy yelled out, “Cut!” He marched past a camera operator, then came to stand in front of me. He studied my face carefully, then waved his hand in front of it. “I can’t see any emotion.”

Grant lifted a finger. “May I suggest a little less makeup. For this scene, she is only a partially turned zombie, after all.”

Remy waved his hand around my face. “Leah, we can work on that, yes?” he asked as if she’d been following along with the conversation. And maybe she had, because she nodded from behind the monitor and said, “Of course.”

“Okay, then work on that. And quickly. We don’t have much time left here.”

I pressed my phone to my ear as I walked to my trailer. “Tell me something nice about me.”

Abby laughed. “You need an ego boost?”

“Yes, a big one.”

“You are the world’s greatest actress,” she said.

“Something sincere.”

Her laughter died down. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to make light of this. I can tell your confidence is shot. You really are amazing. I still remember that story you made up inside that empty church last summer. I thought you were speaking about your own life, that’s how believable it was.”

“You’re good at this,” I said. “How much would I have to pay you to come and sit in my dressing room and write me compliments all day long?”

“I’d totally do that for free.”

“You’re hired.” I rounded a corner, my trailer in view. “What are you up to tonight?”

“The homecoming game.”

“Football? You’re going to a football game? I didn’t know that was your kind of thing.”

“I had to take over your social calendar when you left.”

The last homecoming game of my high school career was happening tonight. “I guess school events still go on without me. Huh . . .” A tug of sadness surprised me. Not that things happened without me, but that I was missing them.

“I know, shocking.”

I opened my dressing room door and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw Donavan sitting there, head leaned over a book. “We had a deal.”

“What?” Abby asked.

“Nothing. I’ll call you later.”

He held up his hands. “Leah called.”

All my anger was diffused immediately. She was the nicest person ever. “Leah has your number?”

“I had to give it to the security people the first day I checked in.”

“Oh, right. What did Leah say?”

“Something about how math nearly ruined your life.”

“It’s true. Math is a jerk.”

He smiled, and I felt guilty. Math wasn’t a jerk, but I certainly had been. Donavan was just trying to do his job, and even though he was better than my past tutors at not letting me get away with things, I was still making it very difficult for him with my completely negative attitude.

“I feel like we got off on the wrong foot,” I said. “I’m sorry. I’ve been under a lot of pressure, and homework has been an added stress. Plus, my dad . . .” I trailed off. He didn’t need to know that my dad didn’t care if I succeeded or failed at this job.

“We can try a new foot today,” Donavan said.

I raised a fist in the air. “Yes, to new feet.”

“Yes, to finishing this packet so your dad stops texting me for updates.”

“I’m sorry.” So I wasn’t the only one he was bugging. A new wave of frustration hit me. I needed to have a real talk with my dad . . . eventually.

Eight

Ninety minutes later packet two was finished, and Donavan was now explaining an equation in packet three.

“And then,” he said, “the numbers decided to stop trying to solve each other and just get along.”

“Uh-huh,” I said, picking at a loose piece of latex on my cheek. I had managed to quickly change out of my costume, not wanting to mess it up, but this was the third day in a row I hadn’t taken off my makeup right away.

“Did you hear what I said?”

“What?”

“You are distracted.”

“I’m thinking about something my friend Abby said earlier.”

“Was it about math?”

“It wasn’t. It was about this thing I used to do to help me get out of a rut.” It was something I hadn’t done at all since I’d been here. And I knew I needed to loosen up, to get out of my own head. It would hopefully help me project chemistry on set. We’d always called them perspective outings. I wished I could call Kara and Abby and beg them to go on one with me. But they were four hours away. I’d have to make do with who I had—Grant and Amanda. I wondered if they’d go along with it. There was only one way to find out.

“Can we take a break?” I asked. “After an hour and a half my brain can’t process new info anyway.”

He shoved his notebook and pencil in his open backpack. “Sure.”

“You don’t have to stick around, if you need to go.”

“You don’t want to finish your last packet after this break?”

“Not really.” I offered him my best smile.

He seemed disappointed in my lack of motivation. But I had just done ninety minutes’ worth of homework. That had to count for something.

I sighed. “Fine. Maybe. If this plan doesn’t work out. Follow me.”

Surprisingly, he did. I led him through the large parking lot where the set was being packed away into vans and trailers. The sun was on its way down and had turned the clouds that streaked the sky pink and orange like paints on a canvas.

We stopped by Amanda’s trailer first. She answered the door.

“Hey, want to go on a trip with us?” I asked.

“Who is us?” She looked Donavan up and down.

“This is Donavan. Donavan, Amanda,” I said.

They exchanged hellos.

“Already working on the assignment I gave you?” she said with a smirk. “You’re fast.”

“What?” I returned, genuinely confused. Then, all at once, I remembered her telling me that in order to have chemistry on set I needed to imagine someone I liked off set.

“No! Really. No.” Even if I had been trying to form a connection with someone (which I wasn’t), it wouldn’t be with Donavan. He was too uptight and serious and . . . boring.

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