LOL, just about every comment on last week’s flash fiction contained that question, or variation thereof. Love it!
As I said, this piece came from a WiP, tentatively titled Let Me Be Your Prince, that is with my first reader at the moment. It’s a friends to lovers story.
Jace Brodie is an actor. He’s been in the business long enough to be recognized wherever he goes. He also has a tendency to speak without thinking, thus paparazzi love to corner him, and he’s notorious for off-the-cuff comments in interviews.
Reese Ingram is a single mother. She works at an exclusive private school at which Mrs. Johnson is the principal. Reese’s nun comment reflects Mrs. Johnson’s attitude toward Reese’s never been married status.
Armed with that information, can you guess what’s on that video?
Okay, some set-up then.
The night before the flash fiction scene, Jace was at the Golden Globes (presenting not nominated).
The morning before the scene, Reese arrived late to work, as in almost missing the first bell for students late. Oh, and did I forget to mention there was a media circus outside the school before she got there? Oops.
Now can you guess what’s on the video?
Oh, all right. Here’s the argument following the flash fiction scene.
First draft, subject heavy revisions, the cutting room floor, yada, yada. Warning for language.
His cell rang. Sliding the phone toward him, he glanced at the display. Ree. “Hello be–”
“Damn it, Jace. You did it again!”
Jace stared at his phone. She’d hung up on him. Actually hung up on him. What the hell? He redialed. “Ree?”
“Can’t talk. Driving.” She hung up on him again, sounding more pissed off than she had a second ago. His feet hit the floor — his boot heels likely dented the wood — and strode to his office door. He wrenched the door open and bellowed, “Allen.”
His personal assistant rounded the corner from the kitchen. “Sir?”
“Did you catch the Globes last night?”
“Of course. It’d be rather remiss of me not to watch my employer.” Allen chuckled.
“Did I do anything — say anything — that might have set Ree off?”
“Not off the top of my head.” Allen handed Jace the mail. “Problem?”
Jace tossed the mail in the general direction of his desk. “Probably.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, a headache was coming on. “Do me a favor and check the usual suspects — YouTube, TMZ–” he waved his hand to encompass the world at large. Allen nodded and disappeared the way he’d come.
Jace closed the door and returned to his desk. A sharp line of sunlight cut across his desk hitting the prism Nik had given him casing rainbows around the room. Jace dialed Ree.
“I’m at a stop light. Talk fast.”
“Hello to you, too,” he said crossing his ankles on the corner of his desk. The wood faded and scratched under his heels from the abuse of his boots.
“Jace.” He grinned. She drug out the ‘a’ just like Mama did when he’d pushed too far. And just like Mama, Ree couldn’t stay mad at him for long.
“All right. What’d I do?”
“When are you going to learn to think before you shoot off your mouth?”
“You and your double ententres. I’m so used to them I don’t hear them anymore. But others do.”
“That witch gave you a bad time again, didn’t she?”
“It’s not just Mrs. Johnson, Jace. You had us living together and engaged if not walking down the damn aisle! And from the way Mrs. Johnson eyed my abdomen she probably thinks you’ve impregnated me too!”
“I wanted you to come last night! You ke–”
She made a choked sound that might have been a laugh. “God! It would have been ten times worse if I had!”
“It wasn’t so much you as the media.” She sighed heavily into the phone. “I guess three trucks showed up at the school this morning and enough parents saw fit to call Mrs. Johnson.” He slammed his hand on the desk tearing a few strands of hair from his head in the process. “I, being her most favorite teacher in the world –” Ree snorted — “got called on it.”
He picked the hair from his watch band. “I wish you’d quit that place.” He turned one strand over in his palm. His first gray hair, imagine that.
“I can’t, at least, not until Nikos graduates.”
“I told you I’d cover tuition.” Damn her pride.
“He graduates in four months.” It was an old argument. “I can stick it out if you keep the hounds at bay. Look, I’ll call you later. Light changed. Gotta go.”
He dropped his phone onto the desk. Damn. He’d done so many interviews along the red carpet he couldn’t remember what he said in any of them. Lots of repetition and questions about his upcoming premiere he was sure. He gathered up the mail that hadn’t made it to his desk. He’d deal with it tomorrow.
Right then he needed a beer. He paused at the refrigerator for a bottle and continued toward Allen’s alcove. He leaned against the wall. “I’m calling it a day. You can head home.” Allen looked up, startled.
“I think I found what you were looking for,” Allen said.
Jace stepped around Allen’s desk so he could see the monitor. Allen clicked the replay button.
“Fuck,” Jace said when the video ended. How was he going to make this one up to Ree?