The morning sun shined through the window as I sprinted down the stairs with my shoes in one hand while I dragged a medium-sized suitcase in the other, I jumped into the kitchen as Rhea took the bacon off the grill, she looked up at me with a smile as I ran I kiss each kid on the cheek or forehead before heading to Rhea to hug and kiss her, I grabbed some bacon and ran for the hooting car outside.
“Bye” I shouted as the family shouted it back, I ran to the car as Devon drove into the driveway as I jumped into the back of the car, Steven sat next to me while Chester sat with his husband in front. “Morning, morning,” I said with an exhale “sorry I am late”
“Its ok, babe” Devon said in his gruff voice, he sat with a smile, looking at me through the rareview mirror, he was a big muscular man with deep brown skin and a smile brighter than the sun.
“hey, we stopped at Starbucks and bought you a cold brew,” Steven said as he gave my drink as smiled softly.
“thank you” I whispered as I began to put my shoes on.
“you looking really good today,” Devon said as he turned to investigate my outfit.
“thank you but I would rather travel in an oversized t-shirt or sweater dress” I commented as I struggled to put on my wedge sandals.
“Then why to dress in that,” he asked as Chester spoke up.
“We need to dress up because its company policy,” Chester said as he made quote marks over the word ‘policy’.
“which funny because last year we could come to work in pyjamas and Page won't have said anything” Steven rolled his eyes.
“that’s bullshit but isn't Hollywood just bullshit,” he said as he drove into the airport parking lot to find Mike sitting on his suitcase, he spotted us and came jogging over in a full suit but had a band t-shirt underneath; he reached into the car to hug Devon before he came to help with luggage.
“morning yall,” he said as he began to for the airport and we followed behind after saying goodbye to Devon.
We practically ran through the airport, using the VIP temporary section to get where we needed to be, we rejected the golf carts so that Page couldn't hold that over our heads, we finally got to our gate to find Edward and Cecilia saying goodbye to their fans before boarding their flight, Edward gave me a small wave which made me smile before Cecilia pulled him towards the gate; we came to gate in the air of rush.
We walked down the long aisles of the aeroplane, we passed by the first-class where Edward sat on the aisle seat with Cecilia next to him, he stood suddenly before I could pass which made me come to a halt but we were lucky we were the last to enter the plane so Steven, Mike and Chester were behind me; I looked up at his tall form which happened to dress into a red plaid shirt, tight jeans and an old leather jacket, the first three buttons on his shirt were open, it brought attention to his sharp jawline, his throat where his bopping Adam's apple and his smooth skin on his chest which I stared at openly.
“May I help you with your bags, love?” he asked as I gave him a shy smile.
“its ok, Edward” Steven said as he grabbed the handle of my bag “don’t worry yourself” he expressed with a sweet smile, so excited to help his idol out.
“No really, I can help” he insisted but Steven was having none of it.
“Sit, relax, sir” he expressed as he placed his hand on my back to push me along. “its no worries.” I smiled at Edward as Steven escorted me to our seats “he is such a gentleman” Steven giggled into my ear “I envy him” he growled as he threw my bag onto the overhead luggage space which made me laugh a little before heading into my seat.
The flight was long but I managed to be entertained by Page, Victoria and Cecilia, they never stopped talking to me about up and coming projects or how society treats women in film and I would gladly sit with interest, adding my opinion but I haven’t been talked to Nefertari for a month now, we saw each other on set but that’s as good as it got; I wish I didn’t have to sit here, pretending to be interested in their conversation.
So as soon as Cecilia was engrossed in her novel, she took extra care in her appearance but seemed physically uncomfortable in the black leather skirt, corset sleeveless top and red heels, I tried to offer to take her shoes off but she refused outright that she felt good in them, so I left as is, I watched her for a moment, she as truly a beautiful woman, everything about her screamed, pose, cultured and fashionable but my mind couldn’t help but think back to Nefertari; I knew it was wrong of me to compare the two, they were both from different worlds but yet I did.
I kindly sipped out of my seat with a smile to her before walking towards the back of the plane, I passed a few members who I greeted with a wave as to not disturb their fellow travellers, I got to back seats to find Mike and Chester on one side and Steven on the other, a woman with curly hair had her head laying on his shoulder; I kept glancing at her until I realised it was Nefertari, I looked straight ahead not wanting to show my jealousy until I found the bathroom and slipped in.
I stood in the stall with my heart beating, I tried to control my urge to grab her from the seat, escort her to mine and place her in my lap but I couldn’t do that, so instead, I washed my face off and made my way back out the bathroom, only to dump into Nefertari herself.
“oh,” I said as I smiled down at small form, she was wearing a burn beige pants with an off-shoulder top with flowers on them, she seemed hazed and sleep like so I quickly move out of the way. “sorry” I whispered but all she did was grab my arm and smile before entering the bathroom, closing the door softly.
I smiled to myself at the sudden physical touch and walked back to my seat with a spring in my step, smirk for Steven who wasn't even paying attention and smile for Cecilia who seemed impressed about something, I slipped into my seat as I couldn’t help but think back to that night on the balcony when we danced in each other's arms and talked for what felt like a lifetime, I wanted to capture that moment forever so I may live in it but it passed and I needed to have it again; even though I didn’t get the opportunity to do so yet, a smile and touch are all I needed until I get my next dosage.
“so what are your thoughts on the impact of the Novel “Socially aware but cooperatively silent,” Cecilia asked me as I stared at her blankly before realizing her question.
I chuckle and looked down at my lap “its an interesting novel and conversation, my opinion is long-winded and I won't want to bore you with my mind” I struggled in my seat as Cecilia giggled and gave my arm a soft squeeze.
“We have time” she winked before going into an in-depth response to the unanswered question.
I walked back to my seat with a blush on my cheeks, I didn’t expect Edward to pop out of the bathroom like that, especially since they were in first class, but he did and I was embarrassed at the thought of him think I was going to relieve myself in it but I kept a straight face, smiled and accidentally touched his arm so that my knees won't buckle. I looked to Steven who was relaxing with a magazine and smirk as he showed me the latest gossip which was Julia and Edward dating, I smiled as he let out a little giggle before turning the next page, We began our descend which was a relief to my stiff body.
We exited the plane as hot heavy with Steven pulling my suitcase while Chester and Mike followed behind, we made our to the pickup area when a fleet of limo drove up, two men stepped out of the limo, both blonde but the one was an older gentleman while the other seemed like his son, they were dress in suits with white shirt were two buttons were undone, they walked up to Page and Victoria who greeted them with grace before introducing them to the cast.
“welcome to Louisiana,” the older man said in a thick southern accent “I am Mr Bud Villeré and this is my son, Abel Villeré” he smiled at the crew as his son tipped his hat “we are grateful that you have come to our old town to film the movie but we have some not so great news, the mansion will not be available until Sunday but we have invited all of you to a cocktail party my wife is hosting”
“thank you, we will be there,” Page said as the man smiled dearly.
“good, now let us transport you to your hotels” he grinned “Abel will help with the luggage” he smiled before getting into the car and Abel hurried to collect Edwards and Cecilia suitcases but Edward waved him away probably with a soft decline.
I stood next to mine as Mike, Chester and Steven were on a call with home, telling them they got here safely, I watch the airport with beautiful glass exterior and wonderful painting that gave me the feel of jazz and colours, I was enjoying this scenery when my phone rang and I looked down at it to find the familiar phone number, I closed my eyes a bit before answering.
“Where are you?” the voice rang out as I looked at the airport.
“At an airport” I stated as the voice got confused
“What,” it said quickly as I turned away from the crowd but as I turned I gave Mike an annoyed look and he laughed “wait, don't tell me you are getting on a plane?”
“I just got off one,” I said as the voice huffed.
“I was just about to get on one to see you,” the voice said annoyed “where are you?” the voice asked as I knew he was pinching the bridge of his nose.
“I am in Louisiana, New Orleans,” I said as I looked to the group.
“that’s great, I am here too” the voice aid with a sense of bliss “let's meet up”
“it been a three-hour flight and last night I didn’t make it home still three,” I said as I rubbed my neck “I can't today, its my only day off”
“ok, ok,” the voice said in a soft tone “how about tomorrow? At the Bar? Huh?”
“I can't, we are on set until 4 and then I have a cocktail party to go to,” I said as Steven signalled for me to come.
“then come after,” the voice said with excitement behind it.
“ok, sure, I will see you at 9,” I said as I moved towards the limo “bye, Zack”
“goodbye,.beautiful,” he said before I hung up and jumped into the long car.
I sat next to Steven with Mike and Chester sitting opposite each other, I laid my head on the back of the limo as it drove off, ready for some sleep because the past few weeks have been horrid; we had been getting off work by three to five in the morning only to get back at work at eight but once this shoot is over the great masterpiece will relieve itself and I hope it was worth it.
“who was that?” Steven asked as I gave him a half-open look.
“Zack,” Mike said with a smile “how is the dude?”
“annoying as ever,” I said as I rubbed my face with my hands “he wants me to co-write some songs and train his new back-up singers, I told him I just don’t have time”
“well, you could do it after the film is finished” Chester suggested.
“I could but I don’t know his schedule” I whispered as I laid my head on Steven's shoulder “but I will discuss it with him tomorrow, he is in town”
“at the bar,” Milke asked with hopeful eyes.
“at the bar” I confirmed as I nodded off.
The moment I walked into this beautiful vintage Hotel which stunk of Jazz and honey, the hotel had an old feel to it with pillars, black and white checkerboard floors and high windows, art on the walls displaying old times and a staircase that had velvet rags which I gladly followed to my room.
My room was deep green with painting and drawing cluttering the walls, felt the scent of French perfume and candle flutter against my nose, while the bed was in the centre of the room with the bathroom behind it, a tiny balcony stood beyond the slim long windows that seemed like the best place to sit and observe the people below but all these charming details were lost on my weary body because, by the time I had undressed and slipped into comfort, I hope the bed; I was out for the count.
I wouldn't say I dreamt but I just fell through images of illusion like a dream that wasn't real or just did feel real but was welcoming because I needed rest not anxious image that frustrate with reality, I needed a peaceful time where I didn’t have to answer, reaction or pursue but this restful feeling was interrupted by a loud ‘dong’ and I flew up from the unusual yet comfortable state I laid in, I thought for a split second that I was dreaming but the infamous ‘bong' sounded once more; coming from my dearest neighbour and without a thought in my mind I walked over to her.
Marching down the hall to the door, I knocked softly, waiting for an answer when I looked down at my oversized t-shirt, boy short underwear and wild crazy hair because of the humidity, I thought maybe I should have gotten dressed into some reasonable then I realised that I am gonna head to bed any second so I couldn’t care less at this point. Cecilia open the door in blue silk loungewear and a headwrap with white pearls hanging around her neck, she gave me a lookup and down as approach my current state:
“Nefertari” she expressed with a wide smile.
“Cecilia, so sorry to bother you but your gong is quite loud, could you not hit it for a few hours,” I asked as I crossed my arms.
“Nefertari” Edwards's voice sounded from behind her, he looked fresh, clean and dewy, he had on a plain white t-shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants, I had to my eyes straight forward. “sorry, did we wake you?” he asked sincerely
“Sorry but yea,” I said trying to somehow pull my hair down.
“We will be extra quiet” Cecilia locks her mouth with an imaginary key.
“Sorry, love,” Edward said with a small smile “we will try our hardest” he smiled at me as he leaned against the wall in Cecilia’s room
“thank you” I whispered before walking off to my room, I blush hard at his eyes and the way they roamed my body, I couldn’t help but let out a giggle before planting myself on the bed.
I was reading through the script in Cecilia room when she came flowing into the room in silky blue loungewear, she sat down with a cup of tea that smelt of herds and sweet honey; she sat next to me with a smile:
“I thought you might be sleeping,” she said in the overly sweet voice as she slipped her tea slowly.
“I am too hyper to sleep,” I said as I crossed my legs over the other “I prefer to sleep peacefully once the film is over”
“well, maybe I have something to make you relax” she smiled seductively which I responded with a raised eyebrow and cringed forehead “energy and spiritual manipulations” she explained as she Pulled forward a Gong and hit it, she put her hands into a pray position “I channel the energy through this into my feet,” I say back and watched her and she hit it again, louder this time “sometimes you need to wake them up”
“I think that is too loud,” I said as I placed my fingers to my lip.
“oh, it’s not” she expressed when a knock came from the door and Cecilia excused herself.
I picked up the script once more when I heard Nefertari's husky voice from the front door, I rushed to the nearest mirror to check my appearance before I walked to the door to hear the passing conversation:
“Cecilia, so sorry to bother you but your gong is quite loud, could you not hit it for a few hours,” She asked as she crossed my arms and leaned against the door jam, she wore nothing but an oversize t-shirt which conjured up sweet dreams I which I could fulfil, the light coming from the hall shone through the thin fabric showing off her body shape which was curves upon curves but her hair was a mess just chucks of curls which were too cute against her sleepy face.
“Nefertari,” I said behind Cecelia, she suddenly was subconscious about her appearance and began to pull her hair down, tuck at the hemp of her t-shirt “sorry, did we wake you?” I asked sincerely as I leaned against the wall
“sorry, but yea,” she said as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“We will be extra quiet” Cecilia locks her mouth with an imaginary key.
“Sorry, love,” I said with a small smile “we will try our hardest” I smiled at her as I gave her a small smirk.
“thank you” she whispered before walking off to her room, I watch her hips swing from side to side as she rushed steps, I kept thinking about an excuse to walk over there but I knew her schedule and I didn’t want to intrude but I couldn’t stop thinking about her even Cecilia noticed my distracted.
“You seem distracted,” Cecilia said as we went over our lines. “You have a certain voice double on your mind”
“yes, Steven has my mind running,” I said with a joked as she smiled.
“You know you can easily get her,” Cecilia said with a glance under her eyelids.
“I don’t want her,” I said moving to the balcony “she is a talented woman, not something to be had,” I said as I stared down at the orange of the sun hitting the quiet street, I watch people going on their business, I watch a little girl in a white cotton dress with curly hair and ribbons following behind her as she ran; I watched her with intriguingly as she ran to her parents who smile at the girl and all I could think of was the love in her parent's eyes as they stared at each other, then feeling I feel for Nefertari was growing and I don’t think I can handle it.
We stood in the French quarter as the sun settles in the middle of the sky, it was hot and humid but the energy around the shoot remained active and humming with jazz music that played just off to the side as Edward and Cecilia stood in her costumes ready for the next shoot which we have been shooting for last four hours, Cecilia was dressing a plaid bodycon red and grey dress with cute Mary Janes and her hair in an elaborate up hairstyle while Edward stood in a three-piece grey suit, they looked hot and sweaty but still pulled off the scene with ease.
The makeup crew was patting down anyone who needed it “Ok” Page announced as she walked onto the set “from the top, Edward,” she said as she turned to him “I need more passion in your movement” he nodded as Page turned to Cecilia “I want you to exhibit fragile movement when Nefertari sing the soft tones in the song”
“will do” Cecilia smiled before running to their position.
I stood in a tight floral wiggle dress with my hair in soft curls and a small hat sat on my head, since I would be singing live, Page had a great idea to put me in the movie as an extra which was a requirement since she changed up the role so fast Victoria thought it is unfair for me to work so hard and not get proper credit for it, so I was a backup dancer along with David who was dressed in a tank top with suspenders and a plaid dress pants, an old fisherman's hat on his head, he placed his hand on my waist as Page ran up to us.
“Ok, I love the energy and flow against each other bodies but I need some face time with the camera,” Page said as she spoke to us. “use your “acting skill” and give me a smile, ok?” she asked as I nodded with a fake smile.
David rolled his eyes at her before taking my hand and escorting me towards our positions, Cecilia stood a few metres away from me while Edward was a few metres away from her, Page yelled action as I began to move past the camera with a shimmy and a smile while the camera panned past me to Cecilia as she began to ‘sing’ and I followed her movements into the dance sequence, she dances routine and mine were similar so Page brought us in as a couple.
We pause into a jitterbug dance for a moment before going full force into the shakes and spins, I kept my voice light as David tossed me in the air after he had circle my body profoundly, he introduced us into a bit of mambo move gripping our bodies together, before I knew it we done with the scene and it was done perfectly without a hitch.
“Cut,” Page said with a smile as she ran over to the leading couple “perfect, tomorrow night we will continue with the scene before we move onto the Mansion scenes” she then moved into the middle of the road and turned to the crew, cast and backup singers. “that’s a wrap today, get to your room, get fancied up and get to the cocktail party, the limos will arrive at four so please be ready”
We nodded before walking off to the wardrobe, David throws his arm around my shoulders as we entered the trailer only to be told to wait until the main cast was done and we went to sit in the food tent when Edward walked in with a smile and nodded to David who held the back of my chair.
“good shoot” David commented as Steven and Chester slumped into their chairs.
“yes, I find it was rather a rush even though the weather incredibly hot” Edward comment as he tossed a bottle of water to me.
I caught it and smile “thanks” I whispered as I drank a few sips. “You going tonight David?”
“fuck yes, I need to find someone to shake my chain,” he said in a growl as I giggled. “But its too hot to go out”
“True but New Orleans has a way of pulling you out of the hotel room to wander the streets” Edward explained as I stared at him “this morning I woke to the sound of a lonely trumpet and soft chats of people getting to work, I knew instantly I wanted to part of it” he looked into my eyes, smiled before biting his lip and looking down “but I am a morning person”
“I couldn’t” David expressed “when I heard the trumpet it just put me back to sleep again”
“it has been a tiring few days,” Chester said “I should call home” he whispered as he walked away, with his phone ready.
“Well, I am pumped to go tonight,” Steven said with a smile “rubbing shoulders with rich and famous, getting on expensive wine and getting Tari laid” he laughed as Edwards face whipped towards me as fast as lightning.
“you know for a fact, I don’t do rich or famous,” I said as I sipped some more water.
“We know,” David said as he eyed me up and down, “nothing says romance more then a starving artist with a passion so intense you forget you are starving, babe, I have been there and it so good” as I smiled and shook my head as David nudged my shoulders
“I guess you can find romance in that situation, you alone with someone who has nothing but passion for art and well to make you smile, its refreshing,” Edward said as he leaned into his seat.
“yes, it refreshing but passion don't pay the bills” David expressed as Steven spoke up.
“but it sure does waste an evening” He high fived David who was laughing.
“Has you walking funny for a week too” Edward mentioned into his long fingers as David laughed louder when someone called Edward to the wardrobe, he nodded before walking over to me. “May I have a sip? Love” he asked but took the bottle anyway, he lifted his head and took a long sip that made his Adam's apple bobbled slowly against his strong throat where his tie was pulled just to loose enough to let white crisp skin show, I watch intensely before he lowers his head and handed the bottle back into my shivering fingers “thank you, love” he smirked knowing very well what he did before walking out of the tent.
“Ok,” David said with a devious smile “so, was I the only one who felt that?"
“I felt it too” Steven smiled as he stared at me.
I readjusted in my seat and crossed my legs “that was nothing”
“keep saying that as you twist and turn,” David said as he began to tell a story about something else.