An Unexpected Affair Excerpt

An Unexpected Affair - Evie - Small

The miserable scent of fear and desperation was thick in the room.  Evie Monroe stepped into the small, cramped space, tugging her ragged baseball cap lower over her eyes as she looked around for a chair. 

Unfortunately, Evie hadn’t arrived early enough to snag a seat and the waiting room was only standing room now. 

Didn’t matter, she thought with gritty determination as she walked over to the metal table and added her name to the sign in sheet.  She could do this!

Moving back to a far corner of the room, she pulled the script out of her bag and pretended to do what all of the others were doing; looked over the audition lines.  But instead of mentally going over the script one more time, she looked around, peering through the fake glasses she’d donned as a disguise, sizing up the competition. 

Good grief, it had been a long time since she’d had to sit in a casting call room.  Not since she’d been five years old had she endured the humiliation and desperation of an open casting call.  Banishing those miserable memories, Evie tugged her ball cap lower, praying that her disguise was effective. 

Two miserable, sweaty hours later, she heard, “Evelyn Munroe!”

Jumping to her feet, Evie grabbed her bag.  “That’s me,” she said and nervously walked towards the tired woman who had been calling out names about in approximate ten minute intervals.  The receptionist had probably started out the day enthusiastically, but it was now five o’clock in the afternoon and she looked burned out and irritated with the repetitious task. 

“This way,” the receptionist intoned without any inflection to her voice, leading Evie down the same hallway the poor woman had traveled about a hundred times already that day.  She paused by a door, took a deep breath, then pushed open the door.  “Evelyn Munroe,” she announced, then stepped back to allow Evie to enter the small room.

Evie nodded her thanks, but the woman had already pulled the door closed.  Evie understood the poor woman’s expression.  Too many people had come to Las Angeles with stars in their eyes only to realize the movie industry was well known for chewing people up and spitting them out.

Pushing the receptionist out of her mind, she took a deep breath as she turned to face the judges.  Goodness, what was she doing?!  Why was she here?  Why was she putting herself through this horror?! 

“Ready?” one of the men sitting behind a long folding table asked, seeming to be just as defeated and painfully bored as the receptionist. 

“Read page six of the script,” a woman instructed flatly. 

That’s when the third member of the panel glanced up. 

Stunned, Evie stared.  It couldn’t be!  No way!  Brock Severson? 

“Whenever you are ready,” he prompted, obviously just as exhausted and uninterested as the others, but trying to be polite as he shifted on the plastic chair set up behind a cheap, faux-wood folding table. 

No, it couldn’t be.  Brock Severson was a former actor who had stepped behind the camera!  As a producer and director, he was one of the most sought after directors in the industry! 

“Ms…” the female judge glanced down at the name on the paper impatiently, “Munroe, we don’t have time for gawking.  Either read the lines or leave so we can bring in the next person.”

Right!  Casting call!  Movie of a lifetime!  This was her chance to get away from the ridiculous sitcoms and romantic comedies…the only roles she’d been offered.  This was her break!  This was her opportunity to prove that she was more than just a pretty face and perky boobs! 

“Right!” She dug into her bag that was, thankfully, still hanging on her shoulder.  She pulled out a pair of spike heels.  Part of her character, she’d thought when she’d read the script. 

Walking over to the wall, she put the shoes down and slipped them on, dumped her bag, and turned, tugging her ball cap down again. 

Moving back to the middle of the open space, she dropped the script on the floor.  Breathed in.  Closed her eyes and…heard an impatient sigh from one of the judges as she slowly let the breath out.  When she opened her eyes again, she was centered.  She was in character.  Correction, she WAS Lucy Decroix! 

Stalking across the room, she led with her shoulders, trying to convey her eagerness.  “Senator, you know me.  You know what I can do!”

Someone from the table supplied the next line.  “Look, I know that you’re John Decroix’s daughter, but that doesn’t mean…!”

“Forget my father!” Evie snapped, impatiently slicing through the air with one hand.  “I’m the one that can get this job done.  If you don’t think so, then tell me that.”  She scowled at the blank wall, pretending that her counterpart was there instead.  “But don’t dismiss me simply because of who my father is.”

There was a long silence, then someone gave the next line.  “You’re just a girl.”

Evie defiantly lifted her chin, her lips pressed together into a thin line of indignation.  “So, which is it, Senator?  Are you arguing that I can’t get the job done because of my father’s reputation?  Or because I have breasts?”

There was a long pause, because she’d changed the words.  The actual line was “…because I’m female.”  But Evie thought her version was more powerful. 

“It doesn’t matter.”

Relief surged through her.  They weren’t going to kick her out for changing the line.  Not yet, at least.  “Neither issue is relevant.  Dismissing me for either reason means you’re an idiot.  You know I can get the job done and you’re just being a sexist pig.”

There was a moment of silence and Evie went for broke.  Turning, she stared at the female judge through the lightly tinted glasses.  “Should I go on to the next scene?”

The three judges stared at her and Evie could feel it.  They were interested!  She knew it!  She’d nailed it!  This role was perfect for her and she’d practiced this scene a zillion times! 

Still, she fought not to glance at the tall man with his legs stretched out in front of him.  Long legs, she thought, seeing them out of the corner of her eye. 

“Sure.  Why not?”

She nodded curtly.  Turning, Evie hurried over to the spike heels and slipped her sneakers off, pushing her feet into the pumps.  She took another moment to re-center her mind, then casually strolled into a new position, and nodded to the line reader. 

“Hey there, pretty lady.  What brings you to this bar?”

Evie’s stern expression changed.  Her features softened and she pulled her glasses off.  “Why, Senator,” her lips curled upwards as she added a slight southern accent, her body language shifting to one of unspoken sexual innuendo.  “I wasn’t expecting to see you tonight.”  Leading with her hips this time, she walked over to the wall and, with a coy glance over her shoulder, toed off her shoes, allowing her lashes to lower ever so slightly as she pulled her toe back suggestively.  “I would have gotten here a lot sooner if I’d known you were here.”

“Does your daddy know that you’re here?”

Evie giggled girlishly.  “Of course my daddy doesn’t know I’m here,” she whispered, leaning forward seductively. “He’d probably spank me if he knew!”   That was another line she’d added.  Evie knew that adding lines to a casting call wasn’t just bad.  It was pretty much forbidden.  But she didn’t care.  The scripted lines needed help and she knew how they should have been written!  “Maybe you could fill in for my daddy,” she purred, letting her tongue dart out to wet her lips. 

 

Brock stared, his heart pounding in his chest.  This was it!  This woman was who they’d been waiting for!  Damn, just watching her, seeing the small changes in her body language and the subtle ways that she shifted her head, angling it just slightly, teasing, her silver eyes seeming to sparkle as she went through the lines. 

She was perfect!  Damn it, they’d been doing these damned casting calls for almost a week and none of the people who had read so far had even come close!  But this woman…she was brilliant!  She wasn’t just playing the part “right”.  She WAS the part!  Somehow, this beautiful woman had become ‘Lucy’! 

“Go to scene three!” he ordered, standing up and moving around the table. 

Instantly, her body language shifted again.  Her shoulders pulled back and her hand reached out, as if sliding along an imaginary table.  “I told you not to do it,” she whispered throatily.  The woman walked with her hips first.  Sauntering.  But no, that wasn’t exactly right.  Her movements were more…more of a slither.  Yes, that was right.  This stunningly beautiful woman literally slithered across the audition space and her voice dripped with triumph!  “But you ignored me, didn’t you?”  She leaned forward.  “They all do,” she whispered, as if saying the words into the man’s ear as he lay on the table. “And they all…die.”

The slight hesitation before she said that last word was exactly right.  Exactly the way he had pictured the scene…but it was more.  So much more when this woman said it! 

“Cut!” Brock snapped.  Turning away, stood up, tossing the script down onto the folding table.  “Thank you.”

The brunette frowned, but he ignored her as he settled his hands on his hips, watching her startled expression.  The “Thank you” was movie industry speak for “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

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