Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Five (Part 21)

"Are you Laura?"

Laura turned around as she heard her name, and found herself face-to-chest with a young man who towered over her.

"I am," she replied, looking up to see a pair of big brown eyes. "And you are?"

"Miles. Miles McCallum. Mr. Jarvis told me that I should come and find you. He said that you'd be the best one to help me out today." The young man smiled down at her, and Laura couldn't help but smile back.

"Did he happen to mention how I can help you out today, Miles?" she asked, wondering why her brother had sent this man her way.

"I've been hired as Mr. Herrington's assistant, and Mr. Jarvis said that, since you've been working with Ms. Cornish so well, you'd be the best one to tell me what to do." Miles smiled again, and Laura felt herself blush slightly.

"Well, I can tell you what works for Sophia, but Blake's another animal entirely... Oh, but don't ever call them by their first names unless they ask you to," she added.

"No first names," Miles repeated, pulling a small notepad from his pocket and making a note. "Got it."

Laura grinned. He was cute, although he was probably at an age where 'cute' didn't seem like a compliment. "Did Mr. Jarvis say anything else?"

"He told me to shadow you today, and then report to him tomorrow morning so he can decide what to do next. He seems to have a lot of faith in you."

"Like he said, I've been working with Sophia for a while... longer than any of her other assistants. She's not here yet, but you'll see why that's a big deal, trust me." Laura sighed, trying not to picture Sophia's face when she saw that there was another person following her around. For such a diva, Sophia didn't like the whole entourage thing. "Anyways, I've got to get started, so you might as well come along and start learning."

Laura started by heading over to Sophia's trailer and unlocking it. "She likes it unlocked while she's on set, but we have to keep it locked overnight," she explained, crossing the room to the air conditioning panel. "She likes the temperature at 76 degrees, so I get it turned on before she gets here. I did most of the clean-up last night before I went home, so there's not too much to do right now, but I try to get everything set up so that all Sophia - Ms. Cornish - has to do is come in and sit down. The guys out at the gate usually call me when she shows up, so I've got time to call Anna, the make-up artist. She'll be here when Sophia shows up."

"Is it okay for you to call her Sophia?" Miles asked, watching as Laura moved around the small space, setting out various brushes and bottles, checking the fridge and smoothing the tableclothes.

"Never," Laura said with a laugh. "Not to her face. But I figure if the tabloids can call her Sophia when she's not around, so can I. She's one of the more... distant artists on this project. Mr. Jarvis is busy, but friendly, and Mr. Herrington... well... you'll get to know him."

"I'm starting to wonder if I want to," Miles said, a frown creasing his brow. "Between the way Mr. Jarvis was talking and the way you're talking... is he really horrible to work for?"

"I don't think so," Laura said, pausing. "I mean, I don't work for him directly. He's just... well, I'm a woman, so I've got an extra set of problems where he's involved."

"Ahhh..." Miles nodded. "So that's why the ad asked for a man."

"Exactly," Laura grinned. A sharp beep from her cell phone interrupted, and she answered before it could beep a second time. "Yes? Okay, thanks." She hit a button to dial another number, then looked up at Miles. "Here we go. Follow me... Anna? She's here."

Laura led Miles over to the coffee bar and cleared her throat to get the girl to pay attention. "Yes, I know he's new, but I need Ms. Cornish's coffee," Laura said, her tone a little too sweet.

"Yes, ma'am," the coffee girl said, smiling widely at Miles. As she turned to make the drink, Laura looked over at Miles.

"You probably don't want to get involved with her - she's one of the ones sleeping with your new boss."

"Oh." Miles glanced over at the coffee girl again, unsure of what to say.

"Here you are," the girl said, passing the cup to Laura but smiling up at Miles. "Have a wonderful day."

"You, too," Miles replied before hurrying to catch up with Laura. "That was awkward."

"That's showbusiness," Laura said, shaking her head. As they reached Sophia's trailer, Laura motioned for Miles to wait outside. She stepped in and sighed with relief to see that Anna was already there, waiting. Setting the coffee down on a coaster, Laura hugged her cousin briefly. "It's going to be an interesting day," she said.

Anna laughed. "I heard - Ricky told me about the new boy. Have fun with that."

Laura shook her head. "We know how much Sophia loves change... keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't tell them to cut off my head today!" Flashing one last, almost desperate smile, Laura hurried back outside, ready to open the door for the actress.

Sophia arrived moments later, and Laura opened the trailer door as the actress stepped out of her car. "Good morning, Ms. Cornish."

"Mm. Who's that?"

"Miles, Ms. Cornish. He'll be Mr. Herrington's assistant, but he'll be learning from me today," Laura explained.

"Hm. Don't let him get in our way," Sophia said as she stepped inside. Laura closed the door behind her and turned to Miles, giving him a small smile.

"Well, that wasn't too bad."

Miles just looked at her, wondering what he'd gotten himself into.

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