"Please tell me I'm not the only one that finds her irritating?" I muttered to Jack as we made our way across the lot.
"No, but I think she winds you up more than the rest of us," he chuckled. "Must be a 'power woman' thing."
"I think it's a 'doesn't like it when people don't fawn over her' thing."
"Eloquent." He teased.
"Well, I had better go and see what other dramas are going around today. I have to do a little media quietening on the incident. And if you see Aaliyah trying to leave with that card, and I haven't signed it, will you let me know?"
"Of course. Enjoy the media."
"I look forward to them like a conversation with Caine Khagan-Smith."
Jack let out a bellow of laughter as I walked away.
" The cast and crew have banded together in support of him, and we all hope he feels better soon. As for the fire, we have had no word yet on the source, although there will be an investigation. We would like to stress that Aaron be left in peace and quiet to recover from his injuries. Thank you."
I stepped away from the press, turning on my heel and walking back to the lot before they could press me with questions.
"I'm sure he'll be grateful that everyone is behind him." Alex appeared, offering me a small smile.
"I'm sure Aaliyah intends to make it know that she's the most supportive." I snapped. "Have you seen what she's bought him?"
"Yes. Is that what's gotten you so worked up?" She was teasing me. Teasing. I scowled at her.
"I cannot help if Aaliyah Greene has made it her mission in life to irritate me."
"Alright, come on."
"Follow me." She hauled me to the side, and then to the trailer she used.
"What are we doing here? I have things to do-"
"Helena, you've always got things to do." She plonked me down on the sofa, and joined me. "Right, listen. Next time she annoys you, just treat her like she's just said something that hasn't. She'll have no idea how to handle you being nice to her. It'll freak her out. She might try harder to annoy you for a while, but then she'll give up because she won't be getting the reaction that allows her to push and be dramatic."
I stared at her.
"You did not just come up with that."
"No, I've been toying with the idea of using it myself. But you're not wrong; she targets you when she wants drama. So, it's better if you use it."
"I'll think about it."
"Alex..." I paused. Maybe I shouldn't meddle. But then it was in my best interests to keep her focussed, because my best interests were the show's best interests... "Your husband."
"What about him?" She was suddenly stock still, that laughing smile she nearly always wore, gone from her face.
"Is he going to be visiting the set often?"
"Erm... I don't know." She seemed surprised that I had asked; or maybe it just wasn't the question she was expecting. "Why?"
"Well because I like people to be focussed on their work. And I have a feeling that he is a distraction."
"He's not. He just likes to keep an eye on me. I promise I won't be distracted."
"It's not you I'm talking about. Well... not specifically. I think he might also be a distraction for... Jack?"
"What?" She looked angry. Well, on the verge of anger.
"There is a rumour going around, and let me say I'm not usually one to indulge in rumours, but I do need to control anything that might affect this show. So this rumour, that there is, or was, something between you and Mr. Lynch-"
"I am not having this conversation. There is nothing going on between Jack and I."
"But there has been something, in the past." It wasn't a question.
"Even if there had, it would no longer be an issue."
"I'll take your word for it. I trust you. But if something does happen, I need to know. I need to be able to put a protective bubble around this project."
"Fine." She snapped.
"Alex-" I hesitated, feeling bad for bringing up what was clearly a touchy subject. "I can't say I'd blame you."
"What because he's so irresistible? Been flirting with you has he?"
"No. And he's not my type." She frowned at me; jack Lynch was everyone's type. "What I'm trying to say is... I wouldn't blame you if you needed... if you felt you needed comfort, outside of your marriage. From what I hear, your husband is away a lot and...well... rumours. But I just want you to know that I'm not judging you. I'm just trying to protect you."
I got ignored after that. At least I think I did. She looked like she was thinking, hard, and I didn't want to interrupt. I stood up, hesitated, wondering if a comforting hand on the shoulder would work; decided against it, and left.