Rating: T for now, M later
Characters: All of our favorites that we know and love. Centered on Edward/Bella, but includes
Category: Totally OOC, AH
Summary: Bella Swan is a production assistant on the set of her Mom’s new
Read the prologue here...
Chapter 1 below the cut :)
The slate operator yelled out to the cast and crew just as I returned with my third cappuccino of the morning.
“Quiet on the set!”
I felt a shove on my shoulder just as I settled in a spot behind the camera crew. When I looked over I realized it was Jason, Renee’s favorite casting director and my new on-set accomplice. I offered him a smile as he took a place next to me to watch the scene. Once Renee yelled cut, we were free to move and talk again.
“So, friend, I see you’re pounding the caffeine today. Late night?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“What time did he leave this morning? Because it’s not like you have the most conventional of schedules.”
“Not a late night like that. I just tagged along with a friend to an underground fashion show – and it got a little late on us.” I knew when I finally crashed in bed at 1 AM, after being dragged out on the town by my best friend Alice, that I would be paying the consequences in the morning. And I was – but who could possibly say no to
In true fashionista form, her latest craze was the world of underground runway shows. Every week she would talk me into going with her – she referred to me as her “favorite accessory” – and eventually, one conversation led to another and we ended up having a midnight dinner. I am not much of the partygoer type at all – I tend to hibernate, which of course was something that
The sound of Renee’s voice pulled me back to reality. “Make sure we call Cullen’s manager and let him know we’ll need him tomorrow – we’re two days ahead of schedule and I’m planning to take advantage of it,” Renee said to Jason. With that she walked past us to the viewing monitors to inspect the last shots taken.
“Great. Cue the fan girls,” Jason chuckled. I realized just then exactly who he was talking about. I had no idea my mom had agreed to sign him on to this movie.
“Cullen? As in Edward Cullen?” I dubiously asked him. Jason shot me a sarcastic smile and nodded.
Maybe it was mere surprise or maybe it was annoyance, but the thought of working with Edward Cullen wasn’t settling well in my mind. Renee had worked with him before, and I knew by word of mouth that she couldn’t wait to work with him again – she had a way of getting attached to good talent.
You could say I was being unfair in passing judgment – I had never really met Edward Cullen in person. Still, it wasn’t hard to guess from his recent sightings with actresses, models, and the occasional unknown, that he was just another
In his defense, he was actually a decent actor. I guess it does count if you have talent other than the ability to seduce the camera with good looks. Yet, it doesn’t take away the feeling that my potential worst nightmare will be showing up on set in a little less than twenty-four hours.
I felt a sigh building up in my chest. Not a fan girl sigh, either. It was actually more like a groan.
“And he’ll be here tomorrow,” Jason said again, rubbing it in. “Make sure studio security is notified. The dude has a tween following bigger than the Jonas Brothers,”
“I hate you,” I said with a glare. And in this particular moment, I really, really did. Jason had, after all, cast him.
“I know, “ he replied as he began to retreat toward the double doors. “Catch you later, Swan.”
I didn’t erase the hate glare off my face until Jason was gone, just for fun.
While I didn’t let Edward Cullen’s arrival linger long enough to ruin the day, I did have to take care of a couple of things before he arrived tomorrow including his scripts and trailer assignment. Knowing Renee, she’d want to meet with him for dinner tonight before the shoot tomorrow. As I made my way back to the lot from the production office, Cullen’s trailer keys in hand, I felt my phone buzz from inside my pocket. As I looked at the caller ID –
“Hello?” I answered.
“Good morning, sunshine,”
“You sound like I feel. What’s wrong?”
She sighed into the phone, “I went back to the fashion show party after I dropped you off,”
I stayed quiet on the line. She knew exactly what my silence meant: that I thought she was crazy.
“I know, I know, I’m crazy.”
“You dropped me off at 1 AM,”
“But…” she started more enthusiastically this time, “the designer was going to introduce me to one of his investors, thinking maybe I can gain enough attention to get my designs off the ground. I was so excited, but it turns out he never showed,”
“Oh, Al, that stinks, I’m sorry,”
“Yeah, I guess its okay”
With this Cullen guy coming tomorrow, plus everything else I had to take care of, my quitting time looked like somewhere between midnight and never.
“That sounds good. I just have to see at what time Renee sets me free tonight,” I said.
“Bella, you talk like she’s not your Mom,”
“Not for 14 hours of my day – she’s my boss,”
What? How was Mike managing that? He just started that Producer internship – there was no way he was calling his own shots.
“Fine, I’ll do my best, I promise,” I replied.
“Don’t promise, just do,”
As I hung up the phone, I approached the talent trailer which, as of tomorrow, belonged to Mr. Edward Cullen. Unlocking the door, I found the trailer was absolutely spotless – I guess someone already knew he was coming. As I glanced to the corner, I noticed his wardrobe cart was already there, stocked with newly minted outfits he would wear in-scene over the first few days. There was plenty of bottled water stacked in the mini-fridge already and new magazines and books laid out on the trailer table. Even the towels, usually the studio’s signature blue color, had been switched out for plain white 100% Egyptian cotton polyblends.
Self-involved AND hard to please. What a dream come true. I left my unimportant deliveries, like his script and his trailer key, right in front of the make-up chair where he would see them first thing tomorrow morning. I wouldn’t want him to get diverted by his polyblend Egyptian cotton towels instead.
I locked up the trailer and made my way back to the set, thinking about the possibility that maybe the monster I was creating out of Edward Cullen was only in my head – that there was no was no way that he could be that bad. Over the years I had met my share of actors, both young and old, and most of them were fairly nice. With the exception of the nightmarish stories of true-to-form Hollywood Divas, I liked to think that most were easy to please. Of course, the more I thought about it, the more I made sense to myself that I was never right when I gave others the benefit of the doubt.
As soon as I walked in, the crew was busy prepping for the next scene as I tried to spot Renee to iron out some details. As soon as I caught sight of her I noticed she didn’t look like she was in the best mood as she was shaking her head and apparently arguing with her DP. Maybe I would have to make another Starbucks run in order to restore her generosity before I ask her if I can skip out early tonight to meet Alice and Mike. Either way, I had to ask her if she wanted to set up a dinner date tonight with her new talent arrival so I made my way over to where she stood.
“Renee,” I started as I approached. She lingered on a monitor and turned to face me right as the shot ended.
“What’s up, Bells?”
“Since Mr. Cullen is arriving tonight, I figured you’d want to set up dinner with him, right?”
“Oh, yeah. Yes, do that. I completely forgot,” she turned away to speak to her DP again. “Rick, this doesn’t work, I need a tighter shot rotation at about ninety-degrees from that angle. There’s something else I want to do with that,”
“Any particular restaurant?” I interrupted, a cardinal sin for creative minds to be victims to in the middle of a train of thought. Renee’s eyes flashed at me what I knew as ‘talk quickly or die’.
“Pick one. You have good taste.” With that, Renee turned away from me and back to her work. In a way, I was glad she was out of this morning’s “mommy mode” and into her fearless director façade – it made everything easier if she could be my mom at home and Renee at work.
I knew exactly where I would make reservations – Mike had invited Alice and I to a posh new Indian and Thai restaurant last week where the food was just as good as the food critics made it out to be. Reservations were booked two weeks out, and the only way Mike had gotten a table a week in advance was using my mother’s name with the manager. For tonight, I would need better ammunition.
Speaking of the devil himself. As the line for the restaurant rang on my phone, I spotted Mike from across the lot. Just then, what sounded like a young woman at the reservations desk answered my call.
“Good afternoon, I would like to make a reservation for two for tonight,” I stated, knowing exactly what the response would be. Luckily, I knew exactly what I would say in order to steer her in my direction – I had seen Renee do it several times.
“Unfortunately, miss, we are fully booked until…about two weeks from Saturday. Would you—“
“Great. Would you put tonight’s table under Dwyer, please?”
I could tell she was on the other line maybe wondering if I hadn’t heard her. Or shocked. She spoke up again, hoping for my full attention.
“Miss, I am very sorry—“
“Renee Dwyer. As in the director,” I said, cutting her off again. If Renee’s name wouldn’t do the trick, maybe his would – she sounded young enough to be one of his groupies. “Or Edward Cullen, whichever works best. At 9 o’clock.”
“Mister Edward Cullen?” she replied quickly – yep, another one bites the dust. It was a little sickening how the tone of her voice changed at the recognition of Cullen’s name.
“Yes,” I confirmed for her. At the same time, I caught Mike’s attention from across the two studio lots.
She was silently deliberating on the other side of the line. A moment or two passed as I waved to catch my best friend’s attention. When he finally saw me, I settled and turned my attention back to business on my cell. Suddenly, and in a way only I could identify, I heard the sound of victory - it was the sound of an eraser making room for my request.
“I believe a table has just made itself available for Mister Cullen and Miss…”
“Dwyer. Renee Dwyer,” I answered. It was all a matter of using your resources; although I’m bothered I’ve had to repeat Renee’s name three times. In fact, I did not even get the table with her name, I actually got it with his. Something is wrong with this.
“You’re all set,” she replied cheerfully. I hope for her sake she found something else to be that happy about once the Cullen fan girl high wore off.
“Thank you,” I said and shut the phone, walking toward where Mike was headed to meet me.
“Tell me you left your first camera operator in charge and that you’re slacking out here, oh Master Director of Photography,” Mike began. I rolled my eyes at him – he always gave me a hard time, just like my Renee, about wanting to start out small with no help from the famous parent.
“No, actually, the best boy is running the show,” I replied sarcastically earning a big smile from him. He offered me a hug when we finally met up across both lots.
Mike and I met our sophomore year college during what we liked to refer to as ‘the most boring economics lecture class ever created’. Through mountains of information about the study of supply and demand, we found out we were both film majors – film production, in Mike’s case. From that point on, we became inseparable – I thought of him as a big brother and I was his little sister. I guess it worked out well, since neither of us have siblings. Lucky enough, his producers’ internship is taking place in the same studio, just a set away from Renee’s production, making it easy for us to do nothing at all when we’re supposed to be working, much like now.
“By the way, how are you playing hooky tonight to go
“Don’t hate,” Mike started, a smirk spread across his lips. “I simply asked my internship director. And since your Mom loves me so much, I asked for you too – I’ll pick you up at 8.” He threw an arm around me.
“You’re right in the lot next door, of course you’ll pick me up,” I said. I was actually thankful he had asked Renee for me - she was less prone to say no to Mike for anything, even if he told her we were jumping off a cliff; I never understood that. I turned to face him. “You’re unbelievable. But the best, nonetheless.”
“I know – I’m still waiting for the day you really mean that,” Mike replied, dropping the arm from around my shoulders and taking my hand. He had a cheesy smile on his face, and I gently slapped his arm with my free hand.
“Shut up, you know I do,” I said laughing. “I have to run back – Edward Cullen is arriving on the set tomorrow and I have to secure the masses,”
“Edward Cullen, seriously? He’s working with your Mom again?”
I rolled my eyes. I was happy to know I wasn’t the only surprised one
“Except now I’m here to deal,” I glanced at my watch – time was ticking. “I’ll talk to you later. Meet me for lunch – my craft service or yours?”
Mike threw back his head and laughed. Once he turned to me he was serious again – what a dork.
“Yours. Last time, you cleaned out and I got yelled at.”
My mouth dropped and I gaped at him, mockingly insulted. “I did not! Two o’clock, don’t be late.” With a friendly smile, I turned and made my way back to the studio set.