Saturday, August 8, 2009


Laura threw out the cleaning cloth in her hand and surveyed Sophia's trailer. It looked spotless. The actress would probably find something wrong tomorrow, but Laura was satisfied with her work. She grabbed her purse from the small locker where she kept her things, then stepped outside, locking the door behind her.

She looked around, but saw no sign of Miles. For a moment, Laura considered walking around to look for him, but she quickly realized that would be a bad plan - the lot was huge, and she could wander all night without finding him. Instead, she sat down on the steps to Sophia's trailer. She could see Blake's trailer from that vantage point, and she figured that if Miles were to start looking for her, the trailer would be the first place he would go.

A few minutes later, Miles emerged from Blake's trailer, looking tired. Laura stood up and walked towards him.

"Hi," she called out.

"Hey there," Miles replied, giving her a smile.

"Long day?" she asked.

"Very. It seems that, now that I'm not just a coffee boy, there's a lot of work for me to do." He shook his head. "I think I might like to be the coffee boy again."

Laura laughed. "So what else did you have to do today?" she asked as they started walking towards the parking lot.

"I cleaned. A lot. Blake's a complete slob, did you know that?" Miles asked, shaking his head. "I thought there might be a cleaning lady or something, but if there is, she's avoiding him - did he sleep with her?"

Laura laughed again. "Probably! So is the trailer spotless now?"

"Not really, but it's as close as I could handle today. Besides, that gives me something to work on tomorrow... I'm afraid of what else he'll find for me to do. I'll probably have to wax his car or something."

"Shh," she said in a stage whisper. "Don't give anyone any ideas!"


Friday, August 7, 2009


"I'm not just a coffee boy anymore, I swear," Miles told Laura with a grin as he waited for Blake's morning drink to be ready.

"Looks like you're doing a lot of other stuff," Laura replied, laughing.

"Yeah, well, not JUST a coffee boy," he said. "Haven't seen you much today, though - you've been busy, I guess?"

"Sophia's having a hard day," Laura told him. "Things haven't been going right since she showed up, and I think Mr. Jarvis is getting close to just wrapping for the day."

"Really? He'd do that because one of the actors is having a bad day?" Miles asked.

"One of the leads is approaching a meltdown - that's different than just an actor having a bad day," Laura tried to explain. "It really has been that bad. Like I said, since she got here today, things have just been going wrong. Wardrobe screwed up, hair and makeup were late, Blake's been taunting her..."

"Yeah, I noticed that," Miles said. "I wasn't sure if that was normal or not."

"Normal, yeah. Appreciated? Not so much." Laura shook her head. "Look, I've got to run," she said, taking the coffee from the girl at the counter. "Maybe I'll catch you after we wrap for the day? You know, compare notes, maybe?"

"Sure," Miles said, smiling at her. "I'll keep my eyes open for you."

Laura smiled back before turning and walking away. Somehow, she felt her cheeks getting a little red - had she just made plans with him? Sure, it was for work, but still... Laura tried not to think about how long it had been since she'd been on a date of any sort. Suddenly, the day seemed as if it might never end.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


"Fine." Blake's tone was at odds with the word, but he knew better than to piss of the director. "I'll find something else for the boy to do."

"Good idea," Ricardo replied. He looked down at the script in his hands, pulled a pencil out from behind his ear, and started making notes. Blake waited a moment, then turned around, realizing that he had been dismissed.

Ricardo waited until he was sure that Blake was gone, then set down the script and sighed. He looked around, but no one was nearby. Taking the flask out of his vest pocket, Ricardo took a swallow of the vodka, feeling it burn a trail down his throat. He put it away, sighing again. Sometimes, drinking made his day a little more bearable. After dealing with divas, he could understand why so many people in Hollywood turned to drugs. If he were a little more wealthy, he might consider the same thing. Ricardo shook his head, trying to forget that thought. That was a dangerous road to travel.


"Laura!" Ricardo whirled around, startled, and wondering if she had seen the flask.

"Starting a bit early, aren't you?"

She had seen it. Damn, he thought.

"Just had a little tete-a-tete with Blake... seemed like a good idea. What are you doing here, anyways?" he asked, trying to change the subject. "Don't you keep talking about how we shouldn't be seen together?"

"Sophia sent me," she replied. "It looks like you get to deal with two divas today. Want me to refill that flask for you?"

Ricardo sighed and tried not to roll his eyes. "And what does Ms. Cornish require this time?"

"She wants to know why there aren't flowers in her dressing room anymore. I tried to explain that they had been gifts from various admirers, but that she hadn't sent any responses, so they probably got tired of it. You can imagine how well that went over."

"Fine. Tell her I'll be there to discuss it with her after we're done with the laundromat scene."

"Ricky! That's going to take all day!" Laura looked a little scared at the prospect of giving that news to Sophia.

"I doubt she'll realize that. And if she does, well, tough." Ricardo tried to glare, but failed. "I'll talk to her then."

"Yes, sir," Laura said, knowing when to back down.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Ricardo watched as Miles made another trek to the coffee stand. After three days, Blake apparently still hadn't figured out what to do with his assistant. The director shook his head. A guy like Blake was used to having people do things for him, so it was odd that he couldn't find anything else for the young man to do.

As Miles passed the director's chair, Ricardo waved him over. For a moment, the assistant looked confused, but quickly realized that the director outranked the actors.

"Yes, sir?" he asked as he approached.

"Miles, it seems that you're rather busy getting coffee for Mr. Herrington," Ricardo began, looking pointedly at the cup in his hand. "I had intended that you do more than just that. So it's time to start being a proper assistant - please inform Mr. Herrington that I would like to speak with him. Now."

"Yes, sir, Mr. Jarvis," Miles replied, his eyes widening slightly. He wondered if he was about to get fired. Shoving that thought from his mind, he hurried back to Blake's trailer. He knocked twice, as he had been told, waited for a count of three, then opened the door.

Blake sat at his makeup counter, letting Anna put the finishing touches on his face. He gestured towards the counter, where a half-dozen other coffee cups sat. "Just set it down."

"Yes, sir," Miles replied. "Mr. Herrington, Mr. Jarvis would like to speak with you. Now, please," he added.

Blake glanced over at his assistant, a little bit surprised that he was delivering a message along with the coffee. "All right. Once Anna's done, I'll go."

"I think that's all," Anna said, brushing a final dusting of powder on the actor's forehead. "You'd better not keep Mr. Jarvis waiting - he gets cranky on hot days."

"It's California," Blake said with a laugh. "Every day is a hot day." Still, he rose from the chair, grabbed the latest cup of coffee, and started towards the door. "Say, Milo, why don't you clean up those coffee cups while I'm gone?"

"It's Miles," the assistant started to correct him, but Blake was already out the door.

"Just ignore that," Anna advised as she packed up her makeup supplies. "He doesn't quite know how to deal with you yet. Funny, since he whined like a baby when Sophia got her first assistant. Of course, you don't have boobs, so..."

Miles gave a short laugh. "Somehow, I don't think breasts would make this job any easier," he replied.

Monday, August 3, 2009


"Coffee for Mr. Herrington, please," Miles said to the girl at the coffee stand.

"Another one?" Laura asked, coming up behind him.

Miles gave a short laugh. "I don't think he knows what else to do with me. This is... let's see... coffee number ten."

"It's only noon."

"I know. Trust me, I know." Miles shook his head. "Think it'll get better?"

"Probably," Laura replied.

"Here you go, cutie," the coffee girl said, passing the cup to Miles.

"Coffee for Ms. Cornish, please," Laura requested, trying not to roll her eyes at the girl's overly-obvious attempt to get Miles' attention.

"And I think that coffee girl thinks I'm hitting on her," Miles whispered, leaning over to Laura.

The other assistant laughed. "With ten coffees this morning? I'd think so, too! Cheer up, it's got to get better."

"Sure," Miles said, sounding doubtful.

"Eventually, he'll figure out something else for you to do. Maybe you'll get to wash his car. Or deliver his dry cleaning. Or - my favourite - return gifts from fans to stores for cash."

"You've done that??"

"All part of the job, Miles," Laura replied, taking the cup of coffee from the starry-eyed girl at the counter. "You'll learn to love it, or you'll find something else to do with your life."

"And you've learned to love it?"

"I didn't say that." Laura grinned, then hurried off to her waiting starlet. Miles watched her go, wondering about that last comment. Finally, he shrugged and headed back towards Blake's trailer, trying to come up with something - anything - else he could do for the actor.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Miles stood beside Blake Herrington's trailer and watched as the actor spoke with the director. They had their heads close together, and both of them kept looking in his direction. Unfortunately, he was too far away to hear what they were saying.

"I hate it when they do that," Laura said softly as she walked up behind Miles. The young man jumped as he turned to see who had snuck up on him. "Sorry," she added with a laugh. "Didn't mean to startle you."

"It's okay," Miles said, looking back towards the other two men. "Do they talk like that often?"

"You mean do they talk about you almost like you're not there? Yeah, they all do that a lot around here."

Miles tried to stifle a sigh. "I'm not sure I'm cut out for this," he said. "There seems to be a lot of... I don't know. Cattiness?"

Laura looked at him with one eyebrow raised. "Cattiness on a movie set is a surprise for you? Miles, have you been living under a rock?"

He laughed a little at that. "No. I mean, I'd heard stories, but I figured they were just stories."

Laura smiled sympathetically at him. "You get used to it," she told him. "And you get a nice, thick skin."

Across the lot, Blake threw his hands up, as if defeated. The director nodded once, then turned and left. A moment later, Blake started towards his trailer.

"And that's my cue to leave," Laura said quickly, watching the actor's approach. "I'll be around if you need me."

Before Miles could say anything, he was alone. That didn't last, however, as Blake walked up to him.

"You're my assistant," the actor said without prelude.

"Yes, sir," Miles replied, looking the other man in the eye.

"Fine. Get me a coffee."

"How do you take-"

"Get. Coffee." Blake turned and walked into his trailer.

"Yes, sir," Miles said to the air.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Hours later, Ricardo and Laura managed to escape from the rest of their family and find a place to sit outside. They settled into their favorite chairs and sat without speaking for a few minutes, enjoying the peace and quiet.

"Seriously, Ricky, I wish you would have told me," Laura finally said, rocking slowly back and forth in the chair on the porch. "Anna said that you told her."

"I told her this morning, when she came to ask me about something. I didn't search her out. Besides, I only just found him yesterday, and we didn't get to talk last night. If we had, I would have told you."

Laura sighed. "I know. I just felt, well, out of sorts, you know?"

"I know," Ricardo replied. "But if it helps, Miles didn't notice."


"Really. He actually told me that he was impressed with the way you handled Sophia. Those were his exact words."

Laura laughed. "I 'handled' her, did I? I guess actors are kind of like wild animals..."

Ricardo laughed with her. "In any case, I think you helped him out a lot today. Do you think he's ready to be on his own tomorrow?"

"He might be," Laura said slowly. "Blake's not as demanding as Sophia, and he's only got a half-day of shooting, right?"

"Right," Ricardo confirmed. "It might take a little sweet-talking on my part to convince Blake to take an assistant, especially a man, but I think Miles is right for the job."

"Good. He's a nice guy," she said, smiling in the dim evening light.

"I knew it!"

"What?" Laura asked, looking across at her brother.

"You think he's hot!"

"I do not!" she protested, feeling her cheeks turn red. "And even if I do, what does it matter?"

Ricardo laughed. "Ma's gonna love it if you bring him home."

"Ricky! Don't even joke about that! She'll have the wedding planned before she even hears his last name!"

That only made him laugh harder. Laura shook her head. "Besides, the idea is for Sophia to flirt with him. He's just got to keep Blake away from me."

"Right. And that's the only interest you have in him - as a human shield."


As Ricardo dissolved into another fit of laughter, Laura rolled her eyes and got up from her chair.

"Hey, where are you going?" her brother asked.

"To say good night to Mama and the rest. It sounds like I'm going to have a REALLY long day at work tomorrow."