Suddenly, a woman came out. She was blonde, heavy set with glasses. "Mr. Andrews, I'm Natasha Koloskin, the director." She shook his hand briefly.
"Derrick, please." He hoped his hand wasn't clammy.
"Come with me. Harold is on the phone. He'll meet us in the studio. I enjoyed your work in Legends."
"I just got around to seeing it last night actually. I had a tape sent to me, watched all the episodes." She held up her cup. "That's why all the caffeine."
"Can I have someone bring you one?"
"No, thanks." Derrick looked around at the technical equipment.
"We're going to have you read then we'll film you a bit, just to get a good feel. We're really cutting corners, trying to get these auditions over with quickly. Mr. Kane is anxious to get started. We're already behind schedule and time is money."
"Will Jade Hill be here today?"
"We hope not."
Derrick raised an eyebrow.
"It's just that, given his status, he can be a bit..."
"Overbearing?" a voice boomed.
Derrick turned around to see the very subject of their conversation walk into the room. God, he was so good looking it hurt. Derrick took a breath.
"Jade," Natasha warned, "you know what Harold said."
"Yes and when have I really given a shit?" He turned to Derrick. "Jade Hill, nice to meet you." He didn't offer his hand.
"Likewise," Derrick said. He hoped to hell he wasn't blushing.
Harold Kane himself walked into the room, scowling when he saw Jade. "What are you doing here?"
"Well, since it's me who has to get naked with whomever you decide to hire on as my co-star, I figured I should be here to have a look."
Derrick tried not to look embarrassed. "Do I pass so far?" he joked.
Jade gave him the onceover. "You're all right, too early to tell."
Derrick's smile disappeared.
"Mr. Andrews," Kane said, shaking his hand. "Please pretend that Jade isn't here. Lately, I know I do."
Jade laughed. "Don't believe him. He loves me."
Kane placed a hand on Derrick's shoulder. "Here's the script. I'd like you to read the part for Jody, starting here."
"I'll read my part," Jade offered.
"No, you won't," Kane told him. "Natasha will read it. I don't want you making the kid nervous. You'll go sit down and behave yourself." Kane walked over and sat down in one of the chairs.
Derrick smirked as he looked at Jade. "He talks to you like you're a little boy."
Jade didn't seem to appreciate his joke. He went and leaned against the wall in the corner, grumbling.
Opps, Derrick thought, but he wanted to laugh. It seemed that Jade Hill didn't like to be ordered around.
"Whenever you're ready, Mr. Andrews," Kane boomed.
Derrick glanced at the script. "Ready."
"Okay, let me set the stage for you," Natasha said. "You've been trying to pick up Jade's character in a bar. Jade's character, Tyler, an undercover cop, is trying to keep tabs on one of his suspects when you interrupt him by trying to pick him up. Take it from there."
Derrick sidled up to the table in the corner where Natasha was. He was trying to picture Jade standing there. "Hey," he said, smiling, "what 'cha doing?"
"Get lost," Natasha said, her voice monotone.
"Wanna' get lost with me, baby?"
"Look, do yourself a favour, get out of here."
"I think I'm in love."
"Ha! Look, I'm not looking for anything like that, so fly!"
"You look lonely. I can fix that for a nominal fee."
"Move, will you, out of my way. Damn, there he..."
Derrick moved as if blocking her way. He smiled seductively. "At least, buy me a drink."
"Cut." Harold yelled. "Okay. Jade, since you're here, make yourself useful. I've decided that I want a see a scene with the two of you together."
"Now he wants me." Jade sauntered over into the centre of the room, throwing up his hands. He was wearing tight faded blue jeans with some rips and tears here and there, and a light blue muscle shirt.
Derrick thought he looked good enough to eat.
"I don't think he's right for it," Jade announced suddenly, looking at Derrick.
Derrick lowered the script. "Why not?"
"You don't need to ask him," Harold Kane stood. "He won't be making the decision."
"You can't make me work with someone if I don't want to," Jade told him. "He's not right. He doesn't have the right look."
"That's not fair," Derrick protested. "You haven't even given me a chance."
Jade turned and looked at him. "It's not my responsibility to give you anything. You come here, you prove yourself to be the right one for the role, or you don't."
"But I think it's too early to say that I'm not right for this part yet," Derrick protested again.
"Jade, are you going to audition with him, or not?" Kane demanded, Natasha standing at his elbow. "We'll do it with or without you. Your choice. And Derrick, I make the decisions around here, not Jade, so ignore him."
Easier said than done.
Jade grabbed the script from Natasha. "What scene?" he muttered.
"Let's see a kiss," Kane said, backing up again.
Derrick swallowed. Kiss? At the moment, he felt like kicking Mr. big shot Hill right up the ass. This was going to take some kind of acting.
"Camera!" Natasha called out. "Page twenty, boys," she said, "middle of the page. Start, Jody...I remember... You're in Tyler's bedroom and you're already in love with him. He has just told you that you'd have to find a place to stay."
"I remember the way you looked that night I first saw you," Derrick began a little nervously, telling himself not to be put off by Jade's caustic attitude. "You were really angry."
"You got in the way of an arrest," Jade said.
"And yet, you gave me a place to stay that night, why?" Derrick came closer to him, searching his face.
"Maybe I felt sorry for your ass," he muttered.
"I've overstayed my welcome. Tyler?" He looked up him. "What if I told you that every time you walk into a room, my heart skips a beat?"
"I'd say you were out of your mind."
"What would you say to this?" He grabbed Jade's face between his hands and pressed his mouth to his, kissing him passionately.
Jade seemed surprised. At first, he stiffened, then he yielded a little. The kiss lasted a little too long.
Natasha said, "Cut," twice before Derrick released him.
Jade looked stunned.
After Derrick let Jade go, he couldn't contain his amusement. There was the high and mighty, not to mention, gorgeous, Jade Hill, rendered speechless by a single kiss.