Home > Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(11)

Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(11)
Author: Tammara Webber

Brooke gives the driver directions to a corner bar and grill a few blocks from the hotel, where we sit by the window and watch as people leave their downtown offices. I ask if she’s been to Austin before, and she says, “I grew up here,” smiling as a group of college boys stroll by, all three slowing when they spot her, one waving with a shy grin. Laughing, she crosses her arms over her chest loosely, sighing, “I would chew him up and spit him out.” The boy who’d waved glances back twice, disappointed and earning a punch in the arm from one of his friends.

How does Brooke find the time for enough life experience to cause this level of sexual ennui when I don’t have time to go to a regular school or on a regular date? My moments of free time are erratic; granted, I’m more likely to spend them with Emily than with a boy. Boyfriends have been rare—only three. Two were fellow actors and the other was a friend of Emily’s. We broke up because I literally never saw him.

Brooke scans the place after we’ve eaten, her eyes settling on two young professionals sitting at the bar. “I want an older guy,” she says. As if she’s called his name, one of them glances at Brooke, right in the middle of a sentence, his mouth slightly ajar. She smiles, holding the eye contact for a beat too long to be mistaken for anything but interest. His friend, noting his reaction, looks over as well.

If either of them watched Life’s a Beach, the teen series Brooke spent the last two years doing, she’d look familiar. Doubtful, at their ages. I watched the show with Emily a few times. Brooke seems shockingly similar to her boy-crazed beach-girl character. Is this an act, or was her character so convincing because she was essentially playing herself?

She turns back to us, silky hair tossed over her shoulders, and the guy at the bar can’t tear his eyes away from the back of her head. “It’s been a while since I was in Texas. Maybe it’s time to find out if everything is bigger here.”

“Ohmigod,” Meredith says. “You are so bad.”

“I try.” Brooke laughs and flashes a quick smile over her shoulder to the guy who’s debating whether or not to walk over. “Let’s get out of here.”

Chapter 8


I spot Emma the moment I get to the set, watch her glancing around—looking for me, I think. When our gazes connect, she smiles shyly. I return her smile and then shift my attention back to Tadd, who’s got a running commentary going about the disappointing lack of boots and cowboy hats he’s seen since landing in Austin.

“I get the whole ‘keep Austin weird’ and ‘we’re an artsy, freethinking town,’ but you’d think they could at least nod towards the conventional Marlboro man look enough to give the place an authentic Texas feel.” He huffs a sigh and twitches his head, his hair lifting and falling right back where it was.

Occasionally someone in the media or the public sees my blond hair and blue eyes, adds ‘lives in California,’ and concludes surfer dude. Standing next to Tadd, though, I could be from Canada. His platinum blond hair, straight as a razor, has two options: feathered straight down around his face, as it is now, or spiked straight up. That, coupled with clear blue eyes, a perpetual tan and his propensity to actually say things like dude, edge me out.

“You do realize Brokeback was set in Wyoming, not Texas, right?”

He peers at me through his bangs before pushing them back. “And your point is?”

“Maybe you should go look for your personal Marlboro man there.”

“Unfortunately, we’re filming just over a thousand miles south of Wyoming right now,” he retorts.

“How do you know that?” I ask. Tadd has a memory bank full of trivia, apparently including an innate knowledge of US geography.

“That is not the point!” He pretends exasperation, and I laugh as conversations fade and eyes widen near us. “The point is where the hell are the cowboys?”


“Har-de-har,” he deadpans.

That’s when I spot Brooke coming onto the set. I haven’t seen her, in person anyway, in years. She’s even more beautiful than she was at sixteen. Staggeringly so. A morbid curiosity settles over me concerning how this is going to proceed. She’s talking to Meredith Reynolds when she sees me. My role in School Pride has been well publicized—it can’t be a surprise that I’m here. Even still, she appears taken aback. I stare at her with just a hint of a smile. I don’t want her to know that her face still has the power to take my breath away. Her eyes narrow for the length of one heartbeat, and then her face goes passive. She never wavers in her conversation, turns away, doesn’t look at me again.

We’ll have to interact at some point. Her character is the sister of my character’s best friend. We have scenes together, speaking parts with each other. Plus, in a group this small, there will be interaction between all of us, socially. If we’re wishing each other dead, even silently, it won’t go unnoticed.


When I walk up to the craft services table during lunch break, I end up just behind Emma and MiShaun. Perusing the spread of sandwiches, fruit, cookies and drinks, MiShaun touches Emma’s arm lightly, saying, “Don’t fall asleep standing up. That wouldn’t end well.”

“Huh?” Emma blinks, stares into the steaming cup in her hand, and yawns. “I would kill for a double shot latté. This coffee is awful, but I need the caffeine.”

MiShaun selects a turkey sandwich and a bottle of raspberry iced tea. “The time change can feel like mini jet lag. Why don’t you get one of the set assistants to run to the nearest coffee house and grab a latté for you?”

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