Home > Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(8)

Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(8)
Author: Tammara Webber

My jaw clenches and I repeat, verbatim, the answer I gave five minutes ago. “He said, ‘Good, good,’ then thanked me, then said they’d be in touch.”

Dan pinches his chin between his perfectly manicured fingers, the face of his TAG Heuer watch peeking out from the cuff of his impeccable azure blue dress shirt. “He stopped you before the kiss was started, then,” he reiterates, “But he said, ‘Good, good,’ right after.”

Oh. My. God. “Yes.”

“This could work, this could be fine, possibly he wants to see buildup—I mean anyone can kiss.” If Dan actually believes that, I feel sorry for him. Even with my somewhat limited experience, I know that not everyone can kiss. If rumors are reliable, Reid Alexander will leave me in a puddle at his feet. I doubt the likelihood of this, though, because the best-looking guys aren’t always the best kissers, as backwards as that notion seems.

My first kiss was with a costar in the intergalactic explorer movie. We engaged in hours of private rehearsals after that while on location. But Justin lived in New Jersey, and once filming ended, we were too young to cross the distance between Newark and Sacramento. At the time, I thought I would die from heartbreak. Later, I was more depressed to discover that Justin had been a bright kissing light in a sea of dim bulbs.

Dan’s cell phone begins playing a late-80s rap song, and he unclips it from his belt and punches it, holding up one finger to shush the three of us, though no one is talking. “Dan Walters here. Yes, of course. Fabulous. Three o’clock, no prob. Thanks much, Daria.”

His expression is almost manic as he turns to me. “We’re on, baby. You and Reid are having another go, tomorrow.”

“Yay!” Chloe claps her fingers as though Dan is speaking to her. This is a fundamental Chloe move. She’s like a wind-up monkey that winds itself.

Dan shakes his head slightly (I know the feeling) and addresses my father. “Connor, have her there tomorrow by 2:50. Early enough to look interested, but not overly eager. I’ll start working on what we’re going to push for in terms of salary. I’ll be in touch, hopefully soon.” He lays a hand on my forearm. “Knock ’em dead.” One more gulp of coffee (no way Dan actually needs any sort of stimulant) and he’s gliding back through the restaurant and out the entrance.

Me: Got a callback. 3pm tomorrow. Probably kissing reid alexander. Wish me luck.

Em: Do you NEED LUCK?!? Sounds like you already HAVE IT, lol.

Chapter 6


Emma Pierce is the fourth of five callbacks. In an attempt to be professional, I’ve focused on each of the three before her while we were running scenes, but all day I’m crackling with energy, humming with it, waiting for her.

When Daria shows her in, I feel as though I’ve been plugged into a socket. I study the sides though I could recite all of my lines and hers, delaying the moment when our eyes meet, knowing it will trigger a power surge between us when we speak the lines. We’re doing the same scene we did two days ago, but this time there will be no interruption from Richter.

He calls us to our places and she turns away, a shadow of confusion on her face, but ready. Richter calls action, and as I touch her shoulder, she turns to me, scowling, perfectly in character, and I wish we were filming on set right now because this will be as good as it gets. We run through the lines as though we’ve rehearsed this scene a dozen times, and when she says the last line, “What?” I grip her shoulders per the script direction and kiss her.

I know when I touch her that my hold on her isn’t going to be right and will seem antagonistic, but I’m following script direction. We’ll have to redo it, but that’s fine. The chemistry is undeniable. She sways a bit when I release her, the green in her gray eyes sparking. She feels it, too.

“Cut.” Richter is out of his chair, his lips pursed in thought. One hand taps against the side of his leg as he stares at us. He didn’t budge from his seated position during the last three callbacks. “Too aggressive, I think, Reid.” More lip-pursing and thigh-tapping. “Let’s go again from the beginning. More passion, less dominance on the kiss.” He’s letting me guide the scene physically—precisely how I work best. “Emma, a little more reaction—you’re starting to respond just before he pulls away.”

As the cameras are realigned, I smile down at her, whispering, “Don’t worry.”

She smiles back, still nervous, which is fine. All she has to do is follow my lead, which she’s doing flawlessly so far. This time, I pull her towards me, one hand cradling the back of her head, the other sliding down her arm, tugging her forward onto her toes, unbalancing her so that she leans into me as I kiss her. Hands curled into my chest, she’s a perfect illustration of Lizbeth Bennet’s surrender to Will Darcy’s passion.

“Excellent, spot on,” Richter says. He rubs his hands together.

Hell, yeah.

Daria shows Emma to the exit after we run another couple of scenes and Richter tells her he’ll be in touch. She nods and thanks him, glancing at me. My relaxed expression gives nothing away, but there’s no doubt in my mind—she’s Lizbeth.

*** *** ***


When I come home from the gym a week after the audition, my father and Chloe are popping a bottle of champagne. “You got the part!” he says as Chloe squeals and offers me a glass. I’ve been chosen to play Lizbeth Bennet in School Pride. The financial details were settled for more than I’ve earned in the past several years combined. Filming will start in mid-August, on location in Austin.

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