After a week off due to work-related craziness, I welcome you to Installment #7 of my upcoming novel, Take Two: a Hollywood Romance with a Twist (see previous blog posts for free novel excerpts 1-6). I am sharing Take Two for FREE every week, so click here for details on how to follow the story of Zac and Gina!
Gina had barely closed her hotel room door when there was a knock on it. She opened it to find one of the production crew.
“Miss Devereaux.” The girl fidgeted, wringing her hands. “I’m sorry to bother you, but it’s really important.”
Gina didn’t have time for this.
“I have information about Zac and I…I don’t know who else to go to,” the girl said.
Gina assessed the girl. She was average in every way: mousy brown hair, glasses, nondescript clothes, worn tennis shoes. She had a gut feeling about this girl. “It’s Candy, isn’t it?”
In Gina’s experience, the quieter the crew member was, the more they knew everyone’s business. They didn’t talk much; they watched and listened. It was possible Candy had information on what Zac had done outside of work the past three days. “Come in, Candy.”
Candy was obviously nervous. “Miss Devereaux…”
“Call me Gina.”
“Gina, I…” she said. “Zac is terribly sick, isn’t he?”
“He is,” Gina said.
Candy wrung her hands. “I should have told someone.”
Gina took the girl’s hands and guided her to sit on the bed. “Well, I’m here now. What is it, Candy?”
“I think Sasha poisoned Zac,” she blurted out.
Gina was instantly alert. “What makes you think that?”
“You know—or maybe you don’t know—that Zac and Sasha were a couple?” Candy said.
Gina shook her head. She didn’t follow any of that these days.
“They auditioned for this project at the same time,” Candy continued. “Right after that Zac broke up with her. She was livid.”
“Ah,” Gina said. “I did pick up on some animosity between the two of them.” Truthfully, she hadn’t given it much thought, since they were not in any intensive scenes together.
“She’s said some crummy things to him since we started shooting,” Candy said. “They even had a fight. Last Friday, before the weekend break. But then, three nights ago, Sasha was in his room.”
“And you know this how?”
Candy went beet red and she looked down at her hands in her lap. “I followed him.”
Gina also knew this about the film industry: there were stalkers, and there were quietly obsessed fans… and now she knew where Candy fell on this scale. “Go on.”
“She brought him something—cookies or brownies,” Candy said. “Like a peace offering. Only, I think the cookies were poisoned.”
Gina sat back. “That’s pretty far-fetched, Candy.”
“I know it sounds that way,” Candy said. “But think about it. That was Monday night. He started feeling badly on Tuesday. And why would she make nice to him? It’s not like she was going to get a better part in the film.”
What should Gina make of this conversation? It was almost laughable—Sasha couldn’t be that vindictive, could she? Or that smart? On the other hand, Gina didn’t have any idea where to start, and the poison part did fit …
“Did you hear any of their conversation?” Gina asked.
“No,” Candy admitted. “But they didn’t fight, I know that much. And when she left, she didn’t have the cookies with her.”
Gina was silent for a spell. “Candy, I need you to do me a favor. I need you to find out if Sasha’s left for the weekend.”
“You believe me?”
“I have no reason to doubt what you saw,” Gina said. “But it’s pretty tough to believe what you’re implying. I’ll do this much: I will check Zac’s room and see if I can find these cookies.”
“You will?” Candy’s gratitude was almost too much. “You can do that?”
“Meet me at Zac’s room.” Gina stood. “But don’t let anyone see you there. And for God’s sake, don’t tell anyone about Zac being sick.”
“That won’t be a problem,” Candy said. “Most of the cast doesn’t even notice I’m alive.”
©2013 Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Click here to read Installment #8, “Desperate Search”!