The Audition

  Nikolai Naralov faced Anton, “Did the lead actor the Director chose arrive?”

  “Yes. Jake Noone is in Studio B, acting with the women auditioning for the female lead. The Director wanted to see which of the potential candidates had the best chemistry with him.”

  “James, do you want to watch? I heard he is featured in your latest ad campaign, what do you think of him?”

  “Personally? He is a complete asshole. Professionally, he is extremely talented and very marketable. He is one of the hot new talents in —-’s Agency.” He chuckled to himself thinking about how after hearing Syren Flynn bashing Jake Noone he made a point to use him as a focal point of his speech. The girl looked like she was burning up inside from the way her body stiffened, but she kept the same indifferent smiling facade. I saw her very reluctantly applauding along with the other students.

   “Why do you have that stupid grin on your face?’

   “Nothing. Let’s go, I would like to watch the process.”

   Across the greenbelt separating the main building and the various studios everyone was taking a break. Outside Studio B a very perturbed Jake Noone was leaning with one foot on the wall smoking a cigarette with his Manager. “Not one of these plastic bitches has any sex apeal. I had to keep myself in check and not explode at ——. She has no range at all, one expression that makes her look like she needs to take a shit. When she was supposed to cry she couldn’t squeeze out one tear, not one.”

  “Keep your voice down. Do you know how popular she is right now?”

  “Being popular doesn’t equate with being talented. —- is one dimensional and the part calls for someone who can express sincere feelings of hurt and betrayal.” He inhaled the cigarette recalling the devastated look on Syren’s face when she stood in front of him after overhearing the conversation between him and —–. He wished he had the scene on video to make his point. Syren’s petite body was quivering as she tried to hold back her tears staring at him in shock. When she failed to maintain her usual smile she bit her lower lip trying to be strong, it was heart wrenching. When she silently cried he felt like his heart was being torn into pieces. The girl’s beautiful green eyes slowly welled up with tears and her long black eyelashes were glistening from the teardrops as they fluttered. The look of hurt and betrayal on her innocent and pure face was a devastatingly beautiful sight. She  didn’t say one word, just stared at him with her hands clenched into balls at her side then turned and ran down the sidewalk. 

     Well, I had no choice. I like the girl but my career was at stake. Bradley Barret is no one to mess with and he made it clear he wanted our relationship to end.

    A thin stream of smoke dissipates in the air, “The part calls for someone who knows pain and can bring vulnerability to the character so the audience wants to seek revenge for the girl. Do you fucking get what I mean?”

   “I get it but Night Sky Entertainment is just breaking into the market here and they want star power. I wouldn’t worry. I don’t think she will get the role. ==== is auditioning and she has a better chance.”

   Suddenly Jake crushed the cigarette on the ground and slipped behind the building to avoid Lanie and Syren. He took out his phone and dialed a private number.

   Bradley Barrett was in London, sitting in a five star restaurant cutting a piece of steak when his phone rang. He put down the knife and frowned, “Speak.”

  “Mr. Barrett I want to tell you that I am at Night Sky Entertainment and well, I saw Syren and her friend Lanie. They are having open auditions and I think that is why she is here. I don’t want you to misunderstand. I did as you instructed.”

   “Keep me informed.” He abruptly hung up and his face darkened, the stunning beauty sitting across the table put down her wine glass. “Darling, is there a problem?”

   “I need to speed up the acquisition. Meet with the Board tomorrow and tell them this is my final offer.”

   “What is the rush? I thought you and I would go skiing when the negotiations were completed. Does it have something to do with that phone call?”

    The beautiful woman reached her slender hand across the table to hold his hand and he narrowed his eyes dangerously, “I think you have overestimated your importance to me.” She shivered when she met his icy gaze, quickly retracting her hand 

   He threw down his napkin and stood up, “Get it done.” As he left the luxurious restaurant he took his phone from his pocket and hesitated. He entered the elevator followed by his bodyguards and put the phone back in his pocket. I need to calm down before I call the little girl. I don’t want to frighten her by revealing my dark side.

    Syren and Lanie were laughing as they entered the crowded studio. Lanie knew the open audition for a movie like ==== would be competitive but she had no idea so many well known actresses would lower themselves to come. She looked around, “Wait here. I see Kyle. I am going to ask him a few questions before you sign in. I don’t want anyone to think you are coming in through the back door.”

   “Okay. I am going to wait outside because it is too stuffy in here.”

 “Don’t go far.”

 “Am I a child?”

 “You did have a couple beers against my better judgment.”

 “Really I’m fine. I feel much more relaxed after eating and the beers just took the edge off. I was so angry after dealing with that annoying man today. Don’t worry. Go talk to Kyle. I see him looking over this way.”

  Lanie left and Syren surveyed the crowd. When she saw one of the actresses heading in her direction she quickly dipped out the door. I am not going to let ===== disturb my mood. 

  Syren wandered around the greenbelt marveling at the beautiful landscape design. Whoever designed this really has a talent for fusing cultures. Lanie did say Night Sky Entertainment is a Chinese company.

  She pulled up her collar and tightened her white cashmere scarf around her neck as she lazily strolled down a pathway by a large ice covered pond. She brushed the snow off a wrought iron bench and sat down. So peaceful. She leaned back and closed her eyes, before long she drifted off to sleep.

   While she was napping Lanie was in a panic looking for her and bumped into Jake Noone. She thought maybe Syren saw him and ran away from the audition. Lanie snarled, “Did you see Syren and upset her?”

   Jake had a complicated expression and didn’t immediately answer. He wanted to say he would help look for Syren but then he remembered Bradley Barrett’s warning. ==== quickly spoke, “Don’t bother him, he needs to get back inside. No we didn’t see the girl.”

   Lanie wanted to give him a piece of her mind but it didn’t look like his manager was lying. “Stay away from Syren if you see her.”

   Jake nodded then continued to walk towards the door of the studio followed by his manager. Lanie turned and glanced at him, what a soulless jerk. Not a trace of worry or remorse on his face.

    Lanie saw two outstanding looking men approaching and without thinking nervously asked, “Excuse me, did you see a short blonde girl, hair in a ponytail, green eyes? She is very beautiful. Umm..wearing a beige coat, white scarf.”

   The handsome Chinese man raised an eyebrow recalling the little phony from Trinity University. He said, “Syren Flynn? She is here to audition?”

   Lanie had a shocked expression, “ Yes. Wait…you know Syren?”

   He unexpectedly laughed, surprising both Lanie and Anton, she is an actress hahaha. “Well, she was my tour guide at the University earlier.”

  “You..you are CEO Wong?”

  “En.”

  The look on Lanie’s face was indescribable, she wanted to ask why he was here but knew it was inappropriate. She was more concerned about Syren’s whereabouts. “Did you see Syren by chance.”

  “No. I haven’t seen Miss Flynn.”

  “Thank you.” 

  After he answered she tried calling Syren again as she hurried away. Girl, you will be up soon to audition! Answer!

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