Capture, p.12
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       Capture, p.12

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken


  Dani: Remind me again why I took this job.

  Linc: You didn't have a choice. Almost here?

  Dani: Yeah, I'm at Starbucks, will be over in a few.

  The text ended with a few stunned looking smiley faces, a yawn, and then the picture of the ridiculously long Starbucks line.

  Linc: Just let yourself in.

  My flip flops made a slapping noise against the hardwood floor as I paced back and forth, back and forth in my living room. Nervous energy swirled around me as I cracked first my knuckles and then my neck.

  The sound relaxed me more than the feeling.

  I cracked my left hand again then my right.

  Blowing air out of my cheeks, I sat on my couch and started my deep breathing. In for eight seconds, out for eight seconds, eight times.

  I'd tried to stop with my first-day ritual, but the one and only time I hadn't done the whole cracking, breathing, relaxing thing, one of the lights had fallen on me during filming.

  During a sex scene.

  I'd been naked.

  So had she.

  Let's just say we both received some fun bruises in places no person should ever be bruised.

  Which brought me back to the deep breathing.

  I blew out my last breath, eyes closed, envisioning my first few lines. I mouthed the words then, eyes still closed, played with a few voices.

  "It's so much easier…" My voice rumbled low in my throat. "… fighting for the bad… giving in to temptation, don't you think?"

  No, that wasn't right. My voice wasn't raw enough; it felt forced. I tried again, this time clearing my throat.

  "It's so much easier…" I started. "Shit." I wiped my face with my clammy hands. I wasn't feeling it. When had I ever been so obsessed over someone that my sole purpose in life was to bring them down with me? Bring them to my level just so I could have a taste?


  Her name flashed like a neon sign in my stupid-ass brain. Flash, flash, flash. With a groan, I licked my lips and envisioned her standing in front of me. The forbidden fruit, someone who intrigued me, piqued my curiosity, a girl who made me want.

  "It's so much easier…" My gut clenched as I reached for her hand, my fingertips tingling with anticipation of caressing her skin. "… fighting for the bad." I envisioned myself take a step forward as my fingertips grazed her wrist, the erratic pulse giving way to her feelings, though she remained still, indifferent. "Giving into temptation…" I lifted her wrist to my lips and whispered hoarsely against her skin. "Don't you think?"

  The sound of clapping jolted me out of my vision, causing a near heart attack to take my short life.

  "Shit!" I jumped to my feet and turned around.

  Dani's face was flushed as she held out my coffee and a bag of Skittles.

  "That was, um…" I scratched my neck in anxiousness. "… practice. Because actors, they do that."

  Hell, someone drown me in the ocean outside.

  She nodded once, a smile tickling the corners of her mouth.

  "Thanks." Voice hoarse, like that of an eighty-year-old smoker, I cleared my throat — loudly — and opened the bag of Skittles, avoiding her gaze. "It's tradition. I only eat the red ones."

  My phone buzzed; I picked it up.

  Dani: Red is the best flavor.

  "Thank God you agree. Wouldn't want to fire you on the first day." Again. Shit.

  She rolled her eyes and glanced around the living room, her face impatient, making me feel like a diva.

  "Alright." I popped a few red Skittles in my mouth and chewed. The sugary tartness reminded me, yet again, what day it was. D-day. The first day of shooting.

  I had to be better than awesome.

  "Let's do this." I faked the bravado in my voice, straightened my shoulders, and threw on my Ray Bans like I'd done a million times on the first day on set. Nerves would always be a part of my job. The minute I was no longer nervous would be the minute I needed to get out of the business.

  I started the truck and tossed my bag of Skittles in the cup holder while Dani buckled her seatbelt.

  Hands shaking, I gripped the steering wheel, hoping it would somehow center me. I was still reeling from the scene I'd played out in my head.

  Of her skin.

  Of her freaking response.

  My phone went off.

  I swiped it from my front pocket.

  Dani: Break a leg.

  "Let's hope not." I winked then tossed the phone in with the Skittles. "But thanks, Dani. I appreciate it."

  My phone went off again, but I knew Dani would throw a tantrum if I checked it while driving, so I waited an agonizing eight minutes while we drove to the secluded beach just outside town.

  A few semi-trailers were parked in the normally deserted parking lot. Security was everywhere — walking around, talking in their radios. Jaymeson was standing in the middle of the beach speaking into his headset.

  I swallowed the nerves and glanced down at my phone.

  Dani: My dad always said nerves mean you're alive. So… today, prove why you're living. Don't think of anything else other than getting that across. Movies should be reflections of real feelings, real life. Show life.

  "When did you get so smart?"

  Dani shrugged and pulled the Skittles out of the cup holder then handed me another three red ones.

  "Thanks." I popped them in my mouth, swirling them around with my tongue until they were tiny, chewable pieces of sugar. "Alright. I'm ready."

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