“How long is this going to take?”
I try to keep the annoyance out of my voice, I truly do, but seriously, how much longer do I have to endure this incompetent girl trying to finish my mascara.
“I’m so sorry Ms Rose,” she says as her hand starts to shake.
I know I sound like the diva that they all think I am, but I can’t handle incompetence. I expect the best in every situation, especially at work, and this girl is not the best.
“Give me the wand,” I say, holding my hand out for it.
She hands it over and drops her gaze. If she cries, I may just go mental.
“I can do this myself. It’s easier to put mascara on yourself, rather than have someone else do it.” I force a smile to let her know that I’m not the bitch she thinks I am and she gives me a small lopsided grin back.
“Thanks Ms Rose.” She scuttles off in the direction of the set, taking her supplies with her and most probably thankful to be rid of me.
With a deep sigh I brush the wand over my lashes, top and bottom and ensure that I coat every last inch of them before screwing it back into the bottle.
“They’re ready for you Ms Rose.”
I nod to the assistant that I can see through the mirror and step down from the chair, smoothing my hands over the tight black dress they’ve put on me.
The girl staring back at me is beautiful.
I know how vain that sounds, but hey, I’m an actress. If we don’t have self-confidence we don’t last in this game. I use the things that I have to boost my stardom, and my looks and confidence are my number one draw-card.
My blonde hair is long, thick, curled within an inch of it’s life, and hangs down my back. Every guy’s fantasy. My legs are long, my tan is golden and my curves are all in the right places thanks to a gruelling work-out routine courtesy of my asshole trainer – Jordie.
I’m at the top of my game, a true Hollywood star, living the dream life that I always imagined for myself.
I strut through the doors of the set and stop as I see Christian.
Christian Adams – my best friend. Although I don’t know when that happened.
I haven’t had many friends throughout my life. Acquaintances, yes, true friendships, no. When you grow up as the child of a Hollywood star, it’s always hard to tell who wants to know you for you and who wants to meet your famous dad. In most cases for me, it was the latter.
I don’t trust easily, and I do admit to having a bit of a diva-attitude, although I would deny that if anyone asked. Those traits in combination mean that people tend to steer clear, give me a wide berth, lest they encounter the temper of Madeline Rose.
But Christian sees through all that. He’s the most normal person I have ever met. From me, that’s a huge compliment. He doesn’t give a shit that I’m Madeline Rose, Hollywood star, he just sees me as Maddie, his friend, the person he hangs out with.
No one has ever wanted to hang out with me before, so that makes Christian special in my book, like I said, he’s my best friend.
As my best friend, that makes him untouchable. If anyone so much as insults or bad-mouths him, I will let loose and it won’t be pretty.
The best part is that he has been hired to put together the behind-the-scenes doco as we film the third of our Forever series movies – Forever is Ours.
That means I get to see him every day, and despite the fact that my brother Ethan stars in the movie, and his wife Ava works as PA to Olivia, it’s the first time that I really feel like I have an ally on set. Someone who has my back, no questions asked, and that makes me feel things that I’ve never felt before.
Security – like I belong here, like I’m not just the star of a movie, but a part of the overall process.
He looks up from the sheet in his hand and smiles at me as he walks over.
“Hey,” he says, his deep green eyes looking over my face. “You look pretty.”
That’s something else I love about him. He calls me pretty or cute, not stunning or breathtaking, all those fake words that other people usually use around me. When Christian calls me pretty, it makes me feel special, like I’m not just a pay-check for the movie producers and production company.
“Thanks,” I say with a shrug, still getting used to the way that his compliments make me feel.
“You ready for your first day on set?”
I nod, feeling excitement and anxiety rush through my veins. The first day is always the toughest, but today all my scenes are with my brother, so I guess I’m lucky I have family on my side.
Christian runs his hand down my arm, goose-bumps following it’s path and leans in to place a kiss to my cheek.
He smells all woodsy, like after-shave and peppermint, and his light stubble tickles my cheek.
“You’re gonna kill it Maddie.”
“Thanks,” I say, feeling like my equilibrium has shifted slightly. The confident, in-charge Madeline Rose isn’t here right now. I’m just his friend Maddie, the one who watches movies on the sofa while he eats popcorn, the one who likes to sing the songs as we watch re-runs of old Disney movies, the one who thinks that Christian Adams is the best thing in her world.
With that realisation, my heart swells and suddenly the calm confident feeling that usually surrounds me is replaced with fear of the unknown, fear of my life without him in it.
“Hey, you okay?” he says, taking in the frown between my brows.
I fix my face, like the accomplished actress that I am, and smile at him, exposing the perfectly white, orthodontically-enhanced teeth that are insured for a million bucks.
“I’m perfect,” I say, ignoring the strange clawing sensation in my chest.
“Good,” he says, cocking his head towards the set, “they’re calling for you.”
I turn my gaze towards the set and take a step, making my way to Ethan.
Before I move too far away, I turn back to Christian, “You’ll be here when I’m done?”
He smiles a crooked grin and nods, “I’m not going anywhere Maddie, I’ll be right here waiting for you.”
I’m not going anywhere Maddie, I’ll be right here waiting for you.
For someone with abandonment issues like me – and don’t even get me started on those right now – they are probably the most encouraging words I can hear.
I’ll be right here waiting for you.
I feel the smile on my face widen as I push back my shoulders and shift personas, so that Madeline Rose – actress is the one taking the stage. Ethan smiles at me as I take my place on set with him, waiting for direction.
But before I get into it completely, I look past the camera to make sure that Christian is still there, keeping his promise – I’ll be right here waiting for you.
As his smile finds mine he winks and I feel it in my tummy, butterflies are swarming and for the first time ever, I don’t know what’s going on with me.
Maybe I’m coming down with something; maybe, it’s just first-day nerves. Although I’ve never experienced those before.
“You ready to do this Sis?” Ethan says, drawing my attention back to him.
I nod and take my place, scanning the script to double-check my lines, but I don’t take anything in. My mind is scrambled and my heart is pounding.
My eyes scan for Christian and he is still there, staring at me with concern. I give him a smile and his eyes soften. He mouths, “You got this.”
I nod and take a deep breath. I’ve got this.
Of course I have, I’m Madeline-fuckin’-Rose, I’ve done this millions of times, I’m a seasoned professional and nothing can pull my focus when I’m on set and in the zone.
So why do my eyes keep scanning the room to make sure that Christian Adams is still there?
(This is an unedited sample, and is subject to change.)