Home > Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(5)

Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(5)
Author: Tammara Webber

LIZBETH looks up at him, tilting head as if confused:


Usually if I’m not interested in going out with someone, I try to be nice about it. But I’m sort of in shock right now.



Are you saying no?


I’m saying you couldn’t pay me.

(Again, this feels dead wrong, but it’s in the script.)

WILL glares at LIZBETH, steps closer to her:


What the hell? You’re actually saying no?

LIZBETH, squaring shoulders:


So you think you can ask me out and I’ll trot after you like every other idiotic girl in this school? I won’t. Even if you weren’t so rude every time I’m around you, do you think I want anything to do with you after what you did to Jane? And to George?


What happened between George Wickham and me is none of your business. This is ridiculous. I only wanted to take you to a party, even if you aren’t exactly in my league. Would you rather I just lied about that, to save your precious ego?


I couldn’t care less how you asked.

(We’re inches apart. Reid waits for my one-word line—his cue to kiss me. Up close, Reid Alexander is the most beautiful guy I’ve ever seen, though it’s hardly the best time to appreciate this fact, as Lizbeth is currently livid.)


WILL grabs LIZBETH’S shoulders.

“Cut!” Richter calls. “Good, good. Thank you, Emma. We’ll be in touch.” He dismisses me with a smile.

Good smile or bad smile? The audition felt good, but he stopped us right before the kiss, which seems not good. “Reid, let’s take a look at the next to last line…” he says, and Reid jogs over to consult with him after giving me a mesmerizing smile of his own.

“Ms. Pierce?” The scene attendant breaks my trance, her expression telling me that she witnesses the stupefied look on my face all too often. “Right this way,” she says, showing me to the exit.

Chapter 4


Lucky number thirteen—Emma Pierce. We’ll see two more girls today and five tomorrow, but I already know it’s her. That spark, the chemistry—we’ve got it. The source of it is inexplicable; it’s more than and many times separate from simple attraction. There are couples who have it onscreen but can’t stand the sight of each other in real life, and couples where sexual orientation should negate it, but there it is, on film. Like magic.

I’ve never heard of this girl before. If chosen, she’ll be a virtual unknown, and I wonder if Richter will have problems convincing production to take a chance on her. We auditioned two prominent actresses for Lizbeth on the first day. Either of them would work… but not like Emma. Richter knows it, too. After her audition, he asked me what I thought.

“Yeah,” I said, smiling.

He smiled back. “I think ‘yeah’ sums it up nicely. Let’s see these last… seven, is it? But I’ll go ahead and give Emma’s agent a call tomorrow, and get her set up for a callback. Let’s see what you two can do with the entire scene.”

He wants to see the kiss.

So do I.

*** *** ***


My father and Chloe keep eyeing each other with sideways glances; he sighs noisily every couple of minutes while she chews her lip. Neither has asked me anything since their initial How’d it go? probes, which I answered briefly and with no specifics. They deserve the silent treatment for that speech over the breakfast table a couple of weeks ago, even if they don’t know I was listening.

“So… Reid was there?” Chloe prompts, following a full five-minute silence in the taxi after dinner.

“Yeah.” I hope they’ll take my attitude as typical seventeen-year-old reticence.

She waits another minute for me to elaborate, then realizes I’m not going to. “So, is he gorgeous in person? Was the scene with him or was he just, you know, there?”

“With him.” The hotel finally comes into sight, thank God. Soon we’ll go to our separate, adjoining rooms and I’ll have my thoughts to myself.

My father heaves another perturbed sigh. “Do you think you’ll get a callback?”

“I don’t know.”

Chloe rolls her eyes and pulls out a compact mirror and lipstick, as though her exit at the curb of the hotel is a red-carpet event. Hopefully that ends the interrogation for tonight, though I’m positive it will start up again over breakfast.

In my bag are the School Pride sides I was expected to memorize for the audition, and the copy of Pride and Prejudice that belonged to my mother, who died when I was six. What my mother bequeathed to me: cloudy memories of our lives before she was gone, a handful of photos, her wedding band, and dog-eared copy of her favorite novel. On page 100, there’s a faint coffee ring. On page 237, a smudged fingerprint, undoubtedly pressed to the page while she was simultaneously cooking and reading to me, something I vaguely recall her doing. When I feel the absence of her the most, when I crave her arms around me and can’t bear the knowledge that she’s never coming back no matter what I do or how much I need her, I open her book to these pages, touch my fingers to the fingerprint and the coffee ring, and feel comforted.


I don’t want to discuss the audition with anyone but Emily. We’ve been known as Em and Em since kindergarten, when we became best friends, and attended school together until sixth grade, when my father put me into tutoring, citing my erratic schedule. Thanks to my grandmother and Emily’s mom taxiing us back and forth, we stayed close. I don’t know what my life would have been like without her. Lonely, I think.

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