The next morning, Ellie arrived in Bath. It was still as bitterly cold as it had been when she’d woken up, and wondered why she’d even got out of bed. She met Mary and they walked to the set of ‘Out of the Fire’.
“Are you looking forward to this, El?”
“I don’t know really. I suppose I am. It’ll be nice to see Scott and Claire again. I’m a bit nervous though.”
“I wouldn’t be. From what I’ve heard, everyone’s really nice.”
“Do you know what the name of the actor who plays Vincent is? I don’t want to meet him without knowing his name. Well, that’s assuming I’ll meet him today.”
“I think you are. Umm, his name’s John Naysmith. I know you’re not particularly keen on his character, but I’ve been told that John’s nothing like Vincent, except he’s a bit sure of himself, but not in your face. And anyway, when you look like him, you would be a bit pleased with yourself.”
“People can be a lot different to their characters but I seriously don’t see what the fuss about him is.”
“Yeah. Just not my type.”
“I think you’re probably on you own there.”
“I know. I assume Scott is meeting us when we get there?”
“Yes. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening though.”
“Ok. Where is the set?”
“I, err, don’t really know. Well, I do, I’m just not sure how to get there.”
“Why didn’t we take a taxi from the station?”
Ellie sighed “Its fine. We’ll find it.”
“I was told it was near a church.”
“We’ve already passed four churches. I don’t think ‘near a church’ is a good starting point, Mary.”
“I didn’t know there was this many.”
“How can you think that? It’s a city – of course there’s going to be a lot of churches.”
Then, unexpectedly, a car drew up alongside Mary and Ellie. The driver’s side window slowly wound down. A clean-cut face, wearing sunglasses appeared. With dark brown hair, swarthy skin and an impeccable smile, this man was extremely good-looking and he certainly knew it.
“Can I help you two ladies?”
Mary smiled broadly “Actually, you’re just the man we need.”
“Yes. We need to get to the set of ‘Out of the Fire’.”
“I suppose I am the right man then. I’ll give you a lift, if you want?”
“Oh, thank you.” Mary giggled, shyly and Ellie tutted. Mary tried to push Ellie out of the way to get to the passenger side, but she wasn’t successful and conceded to having to sit in the back.
“Umm, introductions, I’m John Naysmith.”
“We know who you are. I’m Mary Stone – TM Agencies and next to you in Ellie O’Keeffe.”
“Hi.” Ellie replied, dis-interested.
John raised his sunglasses, and briefly looked at Ellie thoughtfully. She looked back and for the first time, realised why everyone thought John was handsome.
“Do I know you?” he asked her.
“You seem familiar.”
“We’ve not met before.”
“Hmm. So, what are you pair going to do at the set? Are you visiting?”
“No, I’m meeting Scott Grey.”
“You’re an actress? ...Wait, of course you are! You were in ‘Home Soon’, when you were about fifteen, sixteen, weren’t you?”
“I knew you were familiar. I used to watch that programme all the time. You were quite popular, weren’t you? Especially when you got with Dylan O’Neill.”
“Yeah, I was. It was quite strange for me, but not so much for Ewan, who played Dylan. He was used to it.
“Oh, right. You’re coming to work on ‘Out of the Fire’ then?”
“Do you know what part?”
“Yes, she’s –” Mary tried to join in the conversation, but Ellie talked over her.
“Really? I’m assuming you know about the whole relationship storyline?”
“Yes – Imogen and Vincent – who you play.”
“Yep. We’ll be seeing a lot more of each other then.”
“We will.” Ellie smiled to herself and then looked back at Mary, who was scowling at her. Ellie turned back, surprised.
“You know, John.” Mary piped up. “You’re even better-looking in real life.”
“Ellie doesn’t think you’re good-looking at all.”
“I didn’t say that, Mary.” Ellie replied, forcefully. “I just said you weren’t my type, John.”
“You can’t please everyone.”
“Certainly not Ice Queen Ellie.” Mary muttered under her breath, but purposely loud enough to be heard.
John looked at Ellie, who faced the window, away from his gaze. For the rest of the journey, Mary enthusiastically tried to share a conversation with John, but he was too interested glancing at Ellie every few minutes. Eventually, Mary sighed heavily, and angrily told John to stop the car.
“Sorry?” he asked.
“You heard me. I want to get out of this car. You two can go on without me.”
“Whoa, Mary, what’s wrong with you?”
“You! You don’t even like him, and now you’re weird.”
“Just let me out, please.”
“I think you should, John.”
John slowed the car down and pulled over. Ellie turned to face Mary.
“You might as well not speak to me again, Mary. I think we’re done now.”
“That’s fine by me.
Mary got out of the car, and walked off in the opposite direction.
“Does she do that often?”
“No, she doesn’t.”
“Oh. What did she mean by us being ‘weird’?”
“I have no idea. Maybe it was jealousy? She always secretly wanted to be an actress.”
“Right. Is she always that bitchy to you?”
“No. She said what everyone else has always thought though. I have heard the ‘Ice Queen Ellie’ comment before.”
“Does it bother you?”
“Sometimes. It’s not my fault though – things happened and I’m not…” Ellie stopped and looked at John. “Why am I telling you this?”
“I don’t know. You’ve kept things locked up for too long?”
“No, I think it’s because there’s just something about you that’s so trusting.”
“I hope there’s a lot more to me than that.”
“Oh, there certainly is. I’m glad we’re going to be working…closely together.”
“So am I. What time are you supposed to be at the set for?”
Ellie looked at her watch. “Eleven. It’s half past now though.”
“I should probably hurry up then.”