"So, what did you think?" Jack Lynch looked over the top of his coffee cup at me, and Aaron Schaffer, next to him, suddenly became very interested in the conversation.
"Promising." I replied, looking down at the notes I'd made. If this final cut got approved, we could go ahead with filming the rest of the series.
"You look like you've made a few notes." Alex appeared, and sat down next to me, lounging in the comfort of the sofa after a day in the directing chair.
"More than a few." Jack chuckled. "You two should be getting on like a house on fire. So critical." He rolled his eyes.
"Anything for me?" Alex added, peering in to my lap at the notebook.
"Not much. I would have liked a few more wide shots in the opening, of the Utopian city, but it still works. I think we need to work on how Jack is costumed; but that's something for the costume department. Lighting needs re-touching in some of the scenes before we show it to the network execs, but everyone seemed to do well..." I tailed off, looking for more of my notes.
"You know you could just say you liked it." Alex grinned, nudging my calf with her boot-covered toe. I frowned at how familiar she was being. Perhaps it was just in an effort to make up for the first day. Not many people tried hard once they'd witnessed me being an Ice Queen.
"I'm holding back that level of enthusiasm for when it actually gets put on the T.V."
"So that means you think it has a chance!" Aaron threw in.
"I wouldn't be producing it if I didn't." I raised an eyebrow, allowed myself a small smirk, and returned to my notebook. I had to get everything down, every little note about what could be changed, what we would need in terms of budget...
"Are you guys coming to have drinks?" Aaliyah Greene appeared. "We have to celebrate."
"I'm in," Jack grinned. "You coming Alex?"
"Uh... maybe." She suddenly looked a little wary, and glanced at her watch. "I ought to check in with David."
"Well I'm in," Aaron announced, grabbing his jacket.
"Come on Alex." Jack tried again. "He thinks you're here late anyway right? What's another hour or two?"
"Unless you need to cook his dinner?" Aaliyah added, a smirk on her face. "I can definitely handle having two men on my arms."
"Fine, I'm coming." Alex glared, standing up, and turning back to look at me. "You coming?"
"No, no, you have fun. I have paperwork."
"Come on. Paperwork? Really? I mean I have notes, but you know we'll have to go through them at the breakfast meeting tomorrow anyway."
"And I have some more to write."
"So write them tomorrow. You can't convince me that you're the forgetful type."
"She doesn't want to go, obviously." Aaliyah rolled her eyes. "Fine by me." I shot a glare at the back of her head as she marched off, pulling the two men with her.
"If you go it will probably ruin her evening?" Alex tried again. I tried not to smile, I really did, but the edges of my lips were traitors.
"As fun as that sounds, I'm going to have to pass."
"Fine. But I'll get you next time." Alex grinned, and headed off after the others.
"Do you need me for anything else Ms. Anderson?" Kate asked.
"No, you go and join the others."
"Wow... thanks Ms. Anderson."
I watched her disappear and then picked up my notes, intent on going home. My phone began ringing.
"Helena, darling! You never call!"
"I'm very busy mother."
"Well so am I. I'm still successful you know dear, and I still make time."
"Yes mother, sorry mother." I rolled my eyes.
"I can practically hear your eyes rolling. It's not very attractive to roll your eyes."
"Sorry." I began marching across the parking lot, hoping to get to the car for an excuse to hang up. I could already tell this was not going to be a fun conversation.
"So, how's the new show looking?"
"I heard you got Jack Lynch, although I don't know why I have to find out these things from other people. But he's very handsome Helena."
"Yes, that's why he has such a huge amount of fans... besides his acting, which is actually rather good."
"Has he shown any interest in getting to know you?"
"Mother, his partner has just had a baby." I didn't want to mention the rumour I'd heard about Alex and Jack, that seemed to be running around set. I'd have to squash that. And telling my gossip of a mother wouldn't help.
"And is it a happy relationship?"
"My god, mother. I'm about to get in to the car..."
"I only ask because I met a gorgeous young director, Kyle Fisher and..."
"You are not setting me up on a date with Kyle Fisher."
"Why not darling?"
"I've told you why not mother."
"Bye mother! Got to go!" I hung up and threw the phone on to the seat next to me. That woman would not let up.
"Good morning Kate," I cast a glance over her sunglasses as I took my coffee. "Late night?"
"Aaliyah Greene parties hard. And Jack Lynch parties harder." She groaned a little.
"I have some paracetamol in my bag?" I offered, and was greeted with a look of surprise from her.
"Oh... no thanks, I already took some. No one else has arrived yet."
"Well I would assume that Ms. Kensington is going to be late again after last night."
"She left pretty early, actually." Kate replied. I schooled the surprised look from my face, and led the way in to the meeting room. "Do you need anything else?"
"No. Just stick close by in case we do. But you can go and have some water and something to eat."
"...Thank you." Kate frowned and left the room. I laid out my notes and checked them over. I still had five minutes before everyone was supposed to be here; I sighed and rubbed my eyes as much as possible without ruining my make-up. I hadn't been able to sleep after my mother's call; it had brought up a lot of things from the past. When I did slip in to sleep around two, the dreams I had weren't any better than the memories. There was a knock on the door, and Kate opened it, letting the catering staff in with croissants, bagels and other breakfast things.
Dennis Hong arrived first, having not been out the night before. Alex appeared a little later, with the assistant director, Peter, not far behind. Peter was sporting sunglasses and a bottle of water, and Alex was smirking at him.
"We beat the writers here?" Alex raised an eyebrow. "That's impressive." Only a minute later, the three head writers walked in, carrying a LOT of paperwork. I groaned inwardly. Please not a lot of script changes, please...
The next two hours were filled with notes. Just notes on notes on notes. The writers had all the scripts for the series with them, covered in, you got it, notes. We glossed over the ones they could make, and focussed on the basics; character development and season projections.
"You ready to talk to the big wigs?" Alex joked as we packed up.
"Yes. I only hope they'll see the potential here."
"I'm sure they will. Anyone who can turn down you is crazy." I flashed a smile at her. "And me of course. I'll be right there with you."
"They won't know what hit them." Dennis muttered. Alex guffawed, and I let out a small smile and finished gathering up my things.