48. Roses Are Red

First thing in the morning, after she dressed and made breakfast, Krislynn slipped into Chase’s room and crawled into his bed. He was still sleeping when she found him and so exhausted that he didn’t even notice her presence as she rested her head on the pillow beside his. She smiled as she gingerly pushed back the front of his hair and studied his sleeping face. What a disgustingly beautiful creature, she thought, everything on his face was symmetrical, every angle perfectly aligned. No wonder the boy grew up with so much arrogance – it was something hard to blame him for.

She sighed, trailed her fingertip down his eyebrow and wondered if he secretly plucked them when nobody was looking. Then she just stayed beside him for another fifteen minutes. If it was true that Ella was with Pedro, there was a good chance she would only have three weeks left with him – three weeks that she planned on doing whatever she liked. She wasn’t going to avoid him. She was going to let herself like him till the last moment, like pigging out on a big meal before going on a diet. That was what she decided she was going to do.

Fifteen minutes passed, and when the time came for her to wake him, she grabbed his shoulder and shook. Chase winced, letting an eyelid open to investigate the person who summoned him, and then smiled sleepily when he saw her. He reached out to touch her and with the back of his fingers gently stroked her cheek before pinching her as hard as he could. “Oww!!! What the hell Chase?! That freakin’ hurt!” She quickly sat up and puffed her cheeks like a chipmunk before rubbing the wounded side. “What the hell was that for?!”

“Payback,” he said.

Krislynn was about to lose it on him, give him double the pain she received, but then he stopped her with a grin as he sat up and stretched his arms over his head. There was just something different about him this morning. It was the look in his eyes, she realized, a glint in his iris when he looked at her that she didn’t remember seeing there before. “What time is it?” He asked, jolting her out of her thoughts.

She turned to the clock. “Like eight. You have a good twenty minutes to get ready I think.”

Chase swore. “That’s not enough time,” he shouted, jumping out of bed.

“That was more than enough time for me,” she retorted and then heard him slam his bathroom door shut. Crossing her arms, Krislynn let out a huff. He probably did pluck his eyebrows in secret, she decided.

By the time the two of them actually managed to get to work, Krislynn was almost positive there was something up with Chase. It wasn’t his personality – he treated her the same as before – but then what was different? She couldn’t seem to figure him out, and never had the chance to. As soon as they showed up at the Paramount buildings, they separated in different directions. She had no idea where he was going, but quickly made her way to Andrea’s dressing room.

Krislynn spent the first few hours doing the usual, getting coffee for everyone, collecting inventory for Boozy and handing Baby his brushes and equipment like a nurse would hand a scalpel to a doctor. Today he created a bunch of realistic bruises and cuts on Andrea’s arms, his ability being even more impressive than Krislynn had expected.

When it was almost time for lunch though, after an hour or so of filming, things took on a weird turn. They were all still on set, the actors on their break while the technicians changed the scene to prepare for the afternoon part of the filming. Andrea sat leisurely in a chair as Krislynn frantically waved a fan to cool her off. Jane was reattaching the loose strands of her hair and Baby was wiping off some makeup when a delivery boy suddenly came on the set holding a single red rose with an extravagant bow tied around the stem.