Behind the Scenes

Belle Andrews is a movie star. She attends award ceremonies, dresses up for the red carpet, and best of all: stars as the leading lady in the new film, "The Haunted Hour." But what happens when Belle is forced into a media deal she never planned? To make matters worse, she is relocated to the small farm town of River Heights to film her new movie. But in River Heights, will Belle discover the real Belle Andrews?

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5. Scene 4

I sat in a chair on set, nearly a week after I'd arrived in Wisconsin. The sights were mediocre, the people even more average, but I'd learned to deal, and Will and I started actually becoming friends.

We talked about everything under the moon, from our careers, to our pasts, to our pet peeves on the red carpet (we both hated camera whores). And I started to not mind having to date him, though neither of us felt a connection that way.

We spoke our lines, romanced our scenes, and then we'd hit the local bar, or take a trip roller-blading. Anything that would catch the pap's eye, and keep us entertained.

Tom didn't bother me much, there wasn't much to discuss really, just wake up at 9, exercise a bit to maintain my form, get on set by 11, and finish whenever the director was ready to be done.

My character wasn't hard to ease into either. She was a young singer living in a small farm town with big ambitions and an infectious personality. Will was her best friend in the beginning of the movie, but ended up being her boyfriend towards the end. We had romantic scenes throughout, but nothing I couldn't handle, nor him either.

That was the thing with acting. You tended to lose emotion on set. The kisses meant nothing, the tears spilling from your eyes just another feeling you could trigger on command. As an actor, you'd think you needed to feel your emotions, when really, you just needed to know how to make your body look like they felt them, and make it look good.

"Belle!" Tom jogged over to me, holding a clipboard in one hand, and a cell phone occupying the other. "I need you to run to the grocery store with Will."

I looked up from my script. This was the first time he'd bothered me about Will since we'd gotten here. "How come?"

"Two reasons. One: normal couples go out shopping together, and two: we need some more toilet paper." I raised my eyebrows. "I'm totally serious." He added. "It'll be good publicity."

I smirked. "Going to the grocery store to buy toilet paper is good publicity for the movie?" I waited for Tom to laugh, but he remained stone-faced, so I closed my script and set it on the table next to me. "Fine, fine. I'll go. Where's Will?"

Tom just shrugged. "Just remember, you have to be back by five, we've got a press conference about the movie!"

I nodded and started my search around the set. First I checked in his trailer. He always left the door open, so I let myself in.

"Will?" I called, and I could hear my voice echo slightly in the empty trailer. "No one here." I mumbled to myself.

For a moment, I actually took the time to look around his space. It was tidy, everything had a place, much unlike my own trailer, which had random articles of clothing and makeup strewn everywhere. He had set pictures on every surface imaginable. I took another step inside, securing that I was now snooping around. I moved to the first row of pictures sitting on the counter in the mini kitchen. There were three frames, and in each a different photo. One of Will with his mother, I had seen her in many a tabloid, and then another with him kissing a girl, a girlfriend of some sort I presumed, and then finally one of him and me. I smiled looking at the picture. We had taken it after filming one day, maybe four days ago? We'd been strolling down the sidewalk of a town nearby where the set was, when we'd come across a park. We walked along the path for a bit, admiring the intricate flower gardens, or the way the hedges were cut just perfectly. Then, in the midst of our admiration, we found a fountain. It was carved of stone, and the water spewed out of a little cherub's mouth. He held a lyre under his arm, and his other hand was outstretched towards the sky. We were so in love with the fountain that we'd asked a jogger on the path to take a picture of us with Will's phone.

It was our first night out together, and it surprised me that he'd gotten it developed so quickly. I stepped to move onto the next row of pictures, when I felt something grab my waist.

"Looking for something, Belle?" Will asked, coming around to face me. "What're you doing in my trailer?"

For a moment I was lost for words, as I wasn't expecting to be caught looking at his pictures, but then I composed myself and formulated an answer. "I was actually looking for you. Tom says we ought to go to the grocery store to get toilet paper."

Will snorted. "Toilet paper?"

I folded my arms over my chest. "Ridiculous but true," I replied. "C'mon, let's just get another stunt over with."

He nodded and grabbed his keys on the way out. I followed him to the parking lot where he had the rental car parked, as flying his own car out to Wisconsin was so much of a chore. We both got in, he put the key in ignition and then we set off down the gravel road towards town.

"So." Will stated, his focus still on the road.

"So." I repeated, watching the green farmland race by outside. Occasionally a tree would spring up in the midst of the flatland, but then it would be gone, and I'd find myself looking at a plantation of some sort. I'd never been good at gardening.

"Missing LA?" Will asked, though we both knew the answer. He was trying to make small talk, though, so I could at least have the decency to reply.

"Every day." I whimpered, brushing my bangs out my face."You?"

"Not as much as I thought I would actually." He slowed as we approached a stop sign, the large welcome billboard for the town on the other side. "Wisconsin's kind of an, escape I guess. No bright lights, no cameras EVERYWHERE."

"But there still are cameras," I pointed out. I couldn't believe he actually liked Wisconsin. For once, we weren't on the same page about something.

"But not as many." He countered, pulling into the parking lot of the grocery store.

I bit my lip. "It's still no Los Angeles." I mumbled.

Will parked the car and removed the key. "Let's go."

We exited the car slowly, as we nearly always did, pretending we forgot something in the car, stopping to get it, letting the paparazzi, which consisted of three men, take our picture. Once I had finally retrieved my chapstick, I couldn't enter the store without it, we entered the store, ready to prepare our trip of shame.

The store wasn't too busy when we came in, but many people stopped to get a picture on their phone. We barely noticed them anymore though, it was just routine.

"I'll go and get the toilet paper, you stop down the snack aisle and grab some food?"

"Food?" I asked. "We have food on set."

"I was thinking we could go for a little drive." He glanced at his watch. "It's only 4:30. We've got time until 5." Then he walked off in the direction of toiletries, while I searched for the snack aisle.

My eyes glanced at each sign as I walked past the various rows. "Dog food, paper plates, toothbrushes," I muttered to myself. "But where are--" I ran into something. Hard. "Sorry," I looked at my victim.

It was a man, tall with hair that was as long as his cheek. He looked to be as old as Will, 25, if not a bit younger. He wore a plaid shirt and ripped jeans. I glanced at his feet. Work boots. Farm hand, I thought to myself. 

"Watch it there," He smiled, showing off a set of perfect pearly whites. His hand held my waist, and the way our eyes met made me freeze in my position. They were a bright blue, and they sparkled with a sensation I'd never seen before. It was different, and it made me uncomfortable.

I realized I'd been staring and glanced at my feet. "Sorry, I just wasn't watching where I was--"

"Belle!" Will's voice said from behind me. Perfect.

I pulled myself out of the stranger's hold. "Will!"

Will, holding a package of toilet paper, walked over to the stranger and I.

"What's your name?" Will asked, his voice turning low, it frightened me.

"Finn." The man replied, holding his ground.

"Well, Finn, leave your hands off my girl, or--" Will started, getting incredibly too close for comfort. His arm snaked around my waist.

"Listen, pal, she ran into me--" The man, Finn, started.

"I don't care what your excuse is. I don't want to see you touch her again." Will's voice had an edge to it. A protective edge.

Finn stepped back. "Sorry." He said quietly. Then he began to walk away, and right when Will turned away, he made eye contact with me, and dropped a card on the ground. Then he was gone.

When I turned back around Will was staring at me. "Did he hurt you? What happened?" His eyes had a glint of worry in them.

I smiled, easing his fears. "I'm fine Will, thanks for telling him off though." I wrapped him in a hug. "It means a lot that you'd do that for me."

"I just didn't want you to get hurt." He said, rubbing the back of his neck as we pulled away. "For the movie, ya know?"

I smiled, knowing that he meant much more. "I know." I looked behind me at the card again.

"What say we check out now, yeah?" He asked, interlocking his fingers with mine.

"Yeah," I replied mindlessly, my brain still stuck on the card. "Hold on a sec, will you? I dropped something." Then I ran and picked up the card, stuffing it in my pocket. "Just a stupid little thing." I explained when he gave me a funny look.

When we finally got back to the car, I buckled myself in and pulled the card out of my pocket.

Finn McAdams

Repairman and Mechanic

324 Cherrylane Dr.

(654) 321-8764

I blinked at the card. It was his business card. Then I reached for my phone. New Contact. "6543218764." I muttered, typing in the number.

"What's that?" Will asked as we pulled out of the driveway.

"Nothing," I replied, putting away my phone. "Just a meaningless number." Then I smiled at him, and we drove off.

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