When I made my way to the Universal Studios the next day I was completely tired out. Why had I had to watch that stupid show half the night? But that wasn't the worst thing. Once I had been in bed, I had fallen into an uneasy sleep, dreaming about Samuel Garrison saving me from the claws of a vampire just to have hot sex with me afterwards. My God what a sex dream! I woke up and could still feel my arousal in my entire body. Nothing like that had ever happened to me, having sex with the star of a show in my dream. But I blamed it on the fact that it had been months since I had last been intimate with a man. It seemed I had a real backlog demand concerning this. But that didn't help me in my current situation. Just the opposite. How was I supposed to face the man in a neutral manner now that I had those phantasies about him in my head? But there was no point. I had to get through this now, whether I wanted or not.
I parked my car right outside the studios and got out of it. Rick had given me exact directions where to go and I entered the building. A nice lady walked me to the room where a dozen other young women were already seated, waiting. Did they all want to audition for the role of the nurse then? My optimism was deflated in light of all the other candidates. Everyone looked like they jumped right out of a catalog, styled, attractive, legs that didn't seem to end, and painted eyelashes. Everyone had model figures, I could tell at first sight. I sat down on an unoccupied chair and instantly felt all eyes of the other women on me. I quickly drew the script from my bag to study it again and to hide behind it. It took what felt like an eternity until they eventually called my name, and I hurried to stand up and go over into the other room where the casting was taking place. And there I saw him then. Samuel Garrison in full height and glory, and my heart randomly started beating faster. It was absolutely not helpful that the memory of my dream came back to me now of all times. Because my eyes automatically fixed on his lips that had been kissing me passionately only a few hours ago. I could practically feel the heat rising in my cheeks and tried to direct my looks to something else instead while I was hesitantly walking towards him and the producer. "Hi, I'm Becky… I mean Rebecca Capwell," I stuttered and smiled tensely. "I'm here to audition for the role of the nurse."
"We already know that, Miss Capwell," the producer said, introducing himself as Richard Brennan and reaching out a hand to me. "I take it you haven't met Mr. Garrison yet, have you?"
I had successfully managed to ignore Samuel Garrison for the moment. But it was probably pretty rude to keep acting like he was air to me, which was why I lifted my head then and looked at him. I had to put back my head all the way into my neck for that, for the man was at least one head taller than me and also a lot broader. "Hi," I said shyly, drowning in his blue eyes. They actually were that blue, like on the pictures, I noticed. They were real and hadn't been photoshopped.
I cut him off before he could say my name. "Call me Rebecca or Becky, that's what my friends call me."
"I'm Samuel, and my friends simply call me Sam."
When he smiled, his dimples showing, I felt my knees turn wobbly. Pull yourself together, I warned myself. I had to appear professional, otherwise I wouldn't have a chance to get the job. But his closeness just made me nervous. "Can we begin?" I managed to get out with some effort and pointed at the script.
"If you're ready, I am, too."
There was a tingling feeling starting in my stomach. I knew the comment was meant to be harmless and funny to loosen the slightly tense atmosphere. But he couldn't guess that I remembered my sex dream again, which gave the whole thing a certain double meaning. "You got the text?" I asked quietly. Luckily, it was a neutral scene the producer made us audition and not a love scene. I tried especially hard to actually perform the text and not just read it from the page. When I was done I could practically feel the looks on me. For a moment, there was a dead silence in the room. Insecure now, I looked back and forth between Garrison and Brennan. "Was that okay?" I asked shyly. "Or… d'you want me to read it again, or maybe another scene?"
Somehow I hoped they wouldn't hear how desperate I was. But during the moment I had read the scene I had been all inside it. I had been Sara, the young nurse who had just told the chief of medicine that she had found a patient dead in his bed. Even the tears I had had in my eyes had been real. It was a skill I mastered almost perfectly. I could laugh, scream, or cry at the push of a button. My acting teacher had always praised me for how convincingly I could play emotions. And sometimes they hadn't even been acted. I owned enough sensitiveness to feel myself into situations. An important trait for any actor. But had my acting been enough to convince the producer this time? My stomach clenched in fear, for both men still remained silent. It was Brennan then who reached for the phone and asked his assistant to send all the other candidates home. It took a while until the penny dropped on me then and I comprehended why that meant. "Does that mean I got the role?" I stammered in disbelief.
"That's exactly what it means." Brennan shook my hand. "Congratulations, Miss Capwell, and welcome to the team!"
My eyes wandered to Samuel Garrison which turned out to be a mistake. Because he had looked at me at the same time and now our eyes locked without any of us being able to get away from it. For a while, we just stared at each other until I heard someone discretely clear their throat. I tore my eyes away and looked at Brennan. "Uhm… you can talk to my agent about everything else," I said with a hoarse voice and handed him Rick's card. "You won't regret choosing me. I'll do everything to live up to my role."
"I'm already looking forward to working with you… Becky."
The comment came from Garrison again and I looked up at him. "Yeah, me, too," I breathed, trying to ignore the tingling in my stomach. The man was married with a child, I reminded myself again. Which meant that he was taboo for me. I would never start something with a married man. But I knew already that it wouldn't be easy to work with him and still ignore my feelings. And it didn't make it any easier that in reality he was even more attractive than in that vampire show.
"We'll meet for the first table read next week," Brennan said and shook my hand for a goodbye. "I'll contact your agent right away and sort out the formalities."
"Thanks a lot for the chance you're giving me." I returned the hand-shake and then turned back to Sam. He smiled and I couldn't help but smile back. "See you at the table read then." When he took my hand and also touched my elbow with the other I thought for a moment that he wanted to pull me closer. But I had been wrong, it seemed, for he abruptly let go of me and made a step back.
"Yeah, see you at the table read," he repeated and nodded at Brennan then. "I'll go, too, then. If you got any questions, just call me."
When I sat in my car a little later I still couldn't believe what had just happened. I had actually gotten the role! Mia would be so happy, because we had been waiting for this chance for so long. And I finally had a real job again, too. Just unbelievable that they had chosen me of all candidates. While I had thought I wouldn't stand a chance after seeing the other women. How wrong you can be sometimes. I took my phone and called my agent to tell him the news. "Rick? I got the role," I said excitedly. "Can you believe it? The producer, Brennan, wants to contact you."
"Congratulations, Becky! I knew you'd make it. When I read the script I knew you're the only one who could play this. For that role you need empathy. And you got that without doubt."
"I think I really managed to convince them," I confirmed. "The first table read will happen next week. But the producer will tell you all that himself."
"You and Mia, you guys celebrate now. And then you come to me tomorrow and we speak about some things, okay?"
"Okay." I hung up and put my phone back. I took another deep breath and released it before I eventually started the engine and drove home.