CHAPTER ONE

10.3K 255 28

There are few things in life of which Teddy Sharpe is absolutely certain, and he's absolutely certain this audition is going to be a train wreck.

At least, that's what's running through his head when he bursts through the front doors of one of LA's fanciest office buildings, scaring the receptionist and a security guard half to death along the way. Teddy's had to run into last-minute auditions before, yeah, but never one he learned about an hour ahead of time. Never one he's had to go into completely blind because he hasn't seen the script yet. And certainly never one that could launch his acting career into the stratosphere. He's a little on edge.

"You said you're here for the Parachutes auditions?" the receptionist asks, pulling her hand away from the button that releases the lobby's turnstile to smooth her hair. She looks unnervingly like Jennifer Coolidge. "Call times for those auditions started at seven a.m. I'm sorry, I can't let you up if you missed—"

"I just got the call from the casting director an hour ago," Teddy rushes out, a little out of breath and holding up his phone. It doesn't help that he came straight here from an early morning shoot for his TV show. He's been awake since midnight and probably looks as cracked out on caffeine as he sounds. "She said if I get here by nine, I can have the last slot of the day."

The receptionist looks unconvinced. "That's not how things are run—"

"I know," Teddy cuts her off again, then tries to cushion it with a smile. He gives her both the casting director's and the director's names. "My booking agent's been trying to schedule an audition time for me all week that works around my current film schedule. We just confirmed it this morning."

"Let me see if I have a note about it. Just a moment," the receptionist says, typing something into her computer. Teddy checks the time on his phone, sees 8:56 a.m., and starts to panic all over again. He rubs a hand over his jaw and makes eye contact with the security guard sitting at the desk on the other end of the turnstile.

"I'm not seeing anything," the receptionist says slowly.

"Is there any way you could call up there? Tell them that Teddy Sharpe is here? They know I'm coming," Teddy tries one last time, subtly reaching around to unstick his T-shirt from his back. At least the Testing Wyatt stylist had dressed him in mostly black this morning. Teddy's been stress sweating since his manager, Rita, picked him up from set and rushed him across LA to make it here on time.

"I'm sorry, sir, but auditions are still going on. I can't call to interrupt. This is why we have the call times policy—"

But see, the thing is, Teddy knows about policy.

He also knows he's been waiting for a shot like this for two years. So instead of listening to whatever boilerplate technicality she's going to pitch next, Teddy backs up from the desk, gets a running start, and vaults over the lobby's turnstile, earning a startled shriek from the receptionist along the way.

"Sorry!" Teddy yells over his shoulder. The security guard scrambles after him, sending an office phone clattering to the floor behind him, and Teddy definitely doesn't have time to wait for the elevators now. His foot slips out from under him on the marble floor as he bolts right, barely catching himself before slamming into the concrete stairwell.

So here Teddy is, sleep deprived and soaked in sweat, taking the stairs two at a time to get to the most important audition of his career with the building's security guard chasing after him. This is not the way he anticipated his day going.

The security guard is wheezing behind him in the stairwell, but Teddy's got him by at least two floors now. His legs, however, might give out before he makes it to the eighth floor, and every time he grabs the railing to swing himself around on a landing, the palm of his hand keeps less and less traction to curb his momentum. Finally his hand slips and he almost goes face-first into a door with a large number six painted on it. Luckily his shoulder is there to break the impact.

Love Scene, Take Two (EXCERPT)Where stories live. Discover now