Celebrate | CWBC
This month, the ChristianWriters Blog Chain covers the topic ‘Celebrate’. My own July has been a study in celebration and agony, but that will be covered in my blog post on Word Obsession later this month. Today I want to keep it light and share a portion of my contemporary romance I originally thought to release in August. With the current chaos of life, that is not possible. The following excerpt is 905 words and is *not* from the romantic portion(s) of the novel.
Of Damsels and Dragons | Excerpt
Raised voices drifted from the inner office as Renee tugged her arm. Amy took a step forward. She couldn’t make out the mumbles and voices enough to grasp a topic, but the disagreement sounded like a hot one. Another tug, another step. The inner office door slammed open and Amy’s entire body startled. The man who stalked out stood head and shoulders above the rest, his platinum hair a drastic difference from the norm. The man halted at the threshold of the office and turned to point an arrow of accusation at the man still standing in the inner office.
“If you truly wish me involved with this production, then rethink your decision regarding her. I refuse to work with the trollop.”
His crisp English accent tickled Amy’s memory, but she couldn’t bring the name and face together.
“Harrison, she is the only one able to handle the role.”
“Bah! I wager I find at least five young women more apt to the role than Fiona.” His gesture swept the room without an accompanying glance.
“I still say it is more than an inexperienced actor can handle.”
“Just as innocence is beyond the realm of a woman with the morals of a Madam.”
A blood vessel throbbed on the man’s forehead. “Harrison….”
“If I do not have the final say on the cast, Max, then I pull my support. This serves as a final warning.” He performed an about face in Royal Army style and strode toward the exit, navigating his way with ease through its dozens of occupants.
Recollection struck Amy between wide eyes. “It’s Garret Harrison,” she whispered.
“Sir Garret Harrison. Of the Royal Shakespeare Company.”
Amy shot Renee a glare. “Don’t you know anyone outside of People or The Enquirer?”
Renee’s gaze drifted above her head, and her jaw dropped. Amy followed the stare with a deliberate peek over her shoulder. Sir Garret Harrison stood directly behind, the musk of his cologne tickling her nose.
Her cheeks flushed molten, and she felt as if she should curtsy. “Sir.” Or is he a lord?
Garret didn’t respond, nor did the scowl lessen from his handsome features. He motioned to her portfolio. “May I?”
“Hm? Oh! Of course.” She handed over the meager folder, certain the act sealed her doom. She would never work another day in the field of acting. At least, not in California.
Garret glanced through the contents, occasionally raising his gaze to a sharp regard of her. It would be one of the only times she thanked God for allowing Renee to fuss over her before venturing out the door.
He slapped the folder shut and stalked to Max who continued to stand in the doorway of the inner office. He smacked the folder against his chest.
“What? Harrison, you can’t—”
“Do not test me. If she is not cast, I wash my hands of this picture.” Then he strode from the room.
All eyes focused on Max, his scowl doing nothing to lessen the throbbing of his jaw muscle or the vein on his forehead. Finally, he focused those hard silver eyes on Amy.
She gulped and only just kept herself from seeking a place to cower.
“Congratulations….” He sought her name from the contents of her portfolio, “Amy Burke. You are now this picture’s leading lady.”
Renee squealed, dashing from the office on the tail end of a list of names of people she had to tell that very moment. Amy collapsed into the nearest chair. “Wait, what?”
Max turned long enough to toss her portfolio onto his desk, resulting in a cascade of papers and a muttered curse. “Report tomorrow morning for your script and shooting details. There will also be a meeting with the Executive Producer. For now, leave your name and contact information with the receptionist on your way out.” He slammed his office door.
White-knuckled fingers were numb even after she pried them from the chair arm. An extra she could play, no sweat, but… the lead? Amy gulped, her stomach not listening to her persuasion to settle down. Being sick in the middle of the casting office would not be the way to introduce herself.
“Aims.” Renee scrambled back into the office, grabbing up Amy’s purse and her arm in one fluid motion. “Come on. We’ve got to celebrate!”
The sudden lurch to her feet nearly sent her stomach contents outward. Oh God…. “Easy, Renee.”
“I dropped your contact information with the receptionist and your business card.”
“I have a business card?”
“Yes, Aims, remember?”
Her head hurt, so she let it go as Renee pulled her from the office. “Of course. What was I thinking? Of course I have a business card.”
“I told you this was the one.”
“You were right and I was wrong.”
Renee shot her a glare. “Hilarious… hey, you look a little green.”
“I feel green.” Green would never look the same again. “Can we sit down for a sec?”
“Sure, sweetie. God, you… you’re not going to throw up, are you?” Renee brushed the hair from Amy’s neck as she slumped onto a cement retaining wall of a terraced garden just outside the casting office.
“Me? Throw up in public humiliation?” Amy took in a long, slow breath as she tried, again, to talk her stomach down from the rafters of her throat. Talking didn’t help.