Austin has met his new leading lady, a pretty brunette with big brown eyes, named Liat. She seems to think he’s the one who decides what happens to the companions and is surprised when he says he’s not. After a short break, they return to the set.
Places were called. He handed Dwight the plate. Rochelle and Bunny descended like hawks, checking his hair and makeup before he went back on the set. Liat stood there, waiting for him, looking annoyed. Rochelle wiped crumbs from his lips and jacket.
“Could you possibly not eat crumbly things while we’re filming?”
“I like scones,” he pouted slightly, sounding like a spoiled child. “And they make them just for me. I’ve got half a dozen more to eat before day’s end.”
Rochelle left, laughing at him.
“Scones?” Liat’s face brightened. “Where?”
“Catering table. Get some on the next break. They’re determined to fatten me up and make me a platter every day. Help yourself.”
“Thanks. You’re sure?”
“I’ll tell them. Ready?”
“Why? This isn’t your first time, is it?”
Liat’s eyes narrowed and she gave him a skeptical double take. “No.”
“No nerves allowed. Look at me. Not the least bit nervous.” He did an elaborate shiver and shake, rolling his eyes before doing a jerky, robotic dance.
Liat giggled, dark eyes twinkling, as they found their marks. She took a moment to compose herself, watching Austin get into character. He underwent an amazing transition, going from a thirty-something Englishman to an ageless, alien time traveler before her eyes. She could believe he was The Magician, not Austin Templeton, actor.
“Ready? And go!” the director said.
The scene began. Austin and Liat worked well together. She picked up his energy, working with it well. By the end of the scene, they were really in sync. After a few more takes, they took another break so the technicians could reset the lights for the next scene.
“Scones!” Austin said, rubbing his hands gleefully. “Come, Morgana, the food awaits!”
Morgana was her character’s name. She followed him to the table. Austin introduced her and gave permission for her to eat some of the scones. He joined her, consuming two more of the tasty, flaky pastries.
Liat took a bite, rolling the scone around on her tongue. “Fabulous! My Gram makes them just like this.”
“So does my husband’s gram,”Naomi replied. “He uses her recipe. We make them just for Austin, but he doesn’t mind sharing.”
“Thank you! So delicious!” She tried not to spray crumbs.
“Where in England are you from?” Naomi asked.
“London. Born and raised.”
“My husband is from Manchester. Well, his family is. He was born in the States.”
“Is he here?”
“See the fiercely large man over with the stuntmen?”
“Yes. I thought you were married to the caterer.”
“He does both. He makes his living cooking, but he loves action. I fill in for the companions from time to time, if we have the same build.”
Austin wandered off to the restroom while the women spoke. He would have stayed, but he needed to pee rather badly. Naomi and Liat seemed happily engrossed in their conversation, so he didn’t think it was rude to leave.
“How many—companions have there been?” Liat asked somewhat hesitantly.
Naomi’s gaze followed Austin. Eyes narrowed, she focused on Liat.
“For The Magician or for Austin?”
“Oh, The Magician, of course!”
“Most of them last about three episodes. That’s their standard contract, so you’re number twelve.” She smiled. “As for Austin, less than five, since I’ve known him. He’s picky. Doesn’t usually date his co-stars.”
“Don’t last. It’s hard to keep up a relationship with a woman who thinks you got her fired.”
“Is it his fault?”
Naomi shrugged. “If you ask me, he’s as puzzled by it as we are. I think he’d like someone more permanent off as well as on set.” She shrugged. “Oh, they’re getting ready for the next scene.”
“I’d best go wee. Thanks for the scones. Absolutely delicious.”
“Thanks. I’ll tell Dexter.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes