“How could either of you tell?”
“Your stance changed,” Dex explained. “Austin’s been studying with me and my brothers for almost a year. About to test of his orange belt in Krav Maga. Well, it’s more Romy Maga.”
“Never heard of Romy Maga. Is it new?”
The men chuckled. “My brother Romy, it’s his personal blend. Mostly Krav Maga with a few of his tricks added in. Also known as Death à la Romy. I expect you’ll meet him eventually. He helps choreograph stunts.”
“I thought you did that.”
“No, I don’t have time with my catering duties. If The Magician gets in a really good tussle, Romy choreographs it. What do you study?”
“Aikido. A friend of mine was raped at university. She killed herself. At her funeral, the rest of us decided we’d not be victims too. We signed up that very day. I’m at my blue belt, almost to red.”
“Good for you. Well, best take my leave. Night, you lot!” He saluted and left.
Austin was in the kitchen unpacking the food. “Ribs!” He held up the container. “Scones! Oh, strawberries and—cooked apples. Salad.” He made a face, tossing it aside. “Oh! Look!” He opened a container and held it up for her inspection.
“Is that what I think?”
“Rice pudding,” they chorused.
“With or without raisins?”
“With, of course,” Austin replied. “And rum sauce! Good old Dex!” He raised the box high, as if offering a sacrifice. “Care to join me for dinner? I’ve got plenty.”
“Love to. Thanks. A meal fit for the Queen.” She clasped her hands.
Austin burst out laughing. “Can you imagine Her Majesty eating ribs?”
“Pinky fingers extended, of course,” she demonstrated, giggling.
They continued laughing as they fixed their plates and ate.
“We really could run lines,” Austin offered. “That’s if you need to.”
He tapped his temple. “Photographic memory. See it once, it’s there for all time.”
“I wondered how you could just walk up there and start talking.”
“I do have to concentrate on blocking, but I can usually remember it—unless the director is like Irving and changes his mind every take.”
“What a gift! What’s the deal with Irving? Have you known him long?”
“He’s done the last three episodes and will do these three, then he’s gone—one hopes. Don’t really get along with him. Bit of a perv.”
“Irv the Perv!” She giggled.
“Oh, God, yes! But don’t start thinking like that or it will bubble up and trouble you during a scene. He’s giving instruction and all you can do is imagine him sweating and slapping himself over porn.”
Liat burst out laughing. “Disgusting!” She giggled, covering her mouth. “What is it about men and their porn?”
“Don’t know. Never look at it.”
“You mean you don’t—” She made distinctive hand movements.
Austin blushed. “That’s not exactly something I’m going to discuss with you, is it? Lines—” he gasped. “Script! Dwight will have one.” He pulled out his phone and texted quickly.
A few minutes of total silence later, there was a tap at the door. Austin leaped at it like a lifesaver. Dwight handed him a script, raised an eyebrow, sucked in his cheeks and left before Austin could thank him.
“He’s the best. He’ll be assistant director when I take the big chair next set of episodes. Well, next but one.”
“You’ll be directing and acting? That’s fantastic—and intimidating.”
“It’s probably mental, but it’s something I want to do. It will be nice for a change. And we’re taking The Magician in a slightly different path so perhaps I can keep my drawers up for an episode or two.”
“Oh, why? You have such a great bum!” Liat clamped her hands over her mouth. “Sorry. Now I sound like a pervert.”
Austin chuckled. “If I knew you better, I’d offer to let you see it up close and personal. But not tonight. Lines.”
He fumbled the script. Their hands met when they both caught it. Clearing his throat, he handed it to her.
“Don’t you need to see it?”
“Oh, yes, please. Then it’s all yours.” He flipped quickly through, pausing a moment before continuing. “Got it. Thanks.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes