Love's Harmony Ch. 05bysimply_cyn©
Not long after Nick's bought with the flu, things became more complicated for Jennifer than she had bargained for. In between their scheduled concerts on the road, the guys had to fly to Los Angeles to do a video for one of their latest single releases. It was a beautiful love song that was topping the charts at both the record stores and the radio stations. They had rented a warehouse in downtown L.A. for the video shoot and were spending the next two days putting it all together before they had to fly back to continue the road trip.
As Jennifer walked into the warehouse, she was amazed at the transformation that had occurred in just twenty-four hours! Just the day before, it had been basically empty except for some trash and old wooden structures. Now, it was suddenly a beautiful set . . . five different bedrooms to match the personalities of the five members of the band. She slowed down, watching the construction workers continue working on the sets as the film crew was setting up at one of them. As she walked, she noticed the intricate details that had been put into each set and she mentally tried matching the rooms with the band member it belonged to.
The first one she stopped at was a dark one: greens, mahogany, velvets, and very rich tones. It was a very romantic bedroom and after thinking about it, she concluded that this one probably belonged to Kevin. Almost all the guys were romantics at heart, but this one matched Kevin's personality. "Whose set is this?" she asked Nigel, director of the shoot.
He looked up from his work, smiling at her. "Whose do you think?"
"Kevin's?" she asked, looking around at it once more.
"Bingo!" he replied, laughing. "You're really getting to know these guys."
"I'm trying," she said, shaking her head at the set. "This is absolutely beautiful! I could die in this room." He laughed with her a moment as she reached out to touch the velvet covered chaise lounge. "Can I have this when you're done?" she teased.
"Sure," he said and then, "If you like this set, you should go take a look at Brian's."
"Really," she asked, her interest piqued. "Where is it?"
He nodded over to the right of where they stood. "It's the second one down," he answered. "I think you'll recognize it right away." He smiled at her as she thanked him, lightly touching his shoulder. She walked up the aisle, watching the construction on the set next to Kevin's. She wasn't sure whose it was going to be, but guessed it might be Howie's. The workers were hanging electric guitars all over the walls and she knew that Howie loved playing the guitar . . . one of his many talents. This room fit him.
When she reached Brian's set, she sucked in her breath. This was her bedroom back home in Texas! It had a southwest theme; complete with a rustic four-poster bed covered with an Indian blanket style bedspread. A Hopi Indian ladder stood against one wall and an antelope's skull hung on the wall. There were two sets of standing candlesticks complete with candles. A hand-tooled rug was on the hard-wood floor in front of the bed. She stood for a moment, lost again in the similarities she and Brian shared. Even their tastes in decorating ran along the same lines. As she stood admiring the handiwork of the set designers, Brian approached her.
"Hey," he called, reaching out to touch her arm.
She turned quickly, smiling at him as he stopped at her side. "Hi!" came her answer, glad to see him. She turned back to the set. "Brian, this is just beautiful!"
"Yeah," he agreed, folding his arms across his chest. "I picked it out myself."
"This is my bedroom back home," she told him, crossing over to the bed. She picked up one of the throw pillows, fluffed it and then placed it back on the bed, in a different position than where it had been. "That looks better," she said, more to herself than anyone else. Brian followed her over to the bed.
"Really?" he asked, surprise registering in his voice. "I didn't know you liked the southwest."
"Well, what do you expect? I'm from the southwest, you know."
"That's true," he said, raising his eyebrows as he smiled at her. And then seeing the look that crossed her face, "You miss it?"
"Oh," she said, shrugging her slim shoulders. "Parts of it. But then, I'm glad to be away from it, too," she answered, her mind lingering on her ex-fiancée and the hurt he had put her through. She was glad to be away from him that was for sure! Turning to look at Brian, she smiled at him. "But most of all, I'm glad to be here, doing this. It's been great! Better than you know . . ." She trailed off, looking back at the bedroom set. She and Ty had had plans to decorate their first house totally southwest and right after the break-up, she had vowed never to decorate in southwest again. But as she stood here with Brian looking at this set, she realized she couldn't let what happened ruin her taste in decorating. It was beautiful and inside, she was thrilled that Brian liked it as well. She couldn't help but let her imagination linger on what he'd look like lounged across that bed . . .
"I think I understand . . ." he said, touching her arm again. He remembered the night on the bus that she had told them what had happened to her back in Texas and he regretted that he had brought up something that was still obviously painful for her. "I'm sorry I asked."
She turned towards him, touching his arm in turn. "Don't be," she said, smiling at him. "It's okay. I'm okay." She withdrew her hand from him, fighting the urge to move into his arms. Something about him made her feel safe and she wanted to feel his arms around her. "That part of my life is over and I'm glad. You know, sometimes things work out because they're supposed to be that way." She shrugged her shoulders once more. "It just wasn't meant to be. I'm convinced that there's someone better out there for me." And then looking at him, "There has to be." She wondered if he could read her mind. . if there was anyway he could know that she desperately wanted that someone to be him, even in the little time she had known him.
He looked at her, tempted to tell her he wanted to be the one to make it okay for her. He was drawn to her. . they were connected already and he wanted her to realize it the way he did. But something inside held him back. He wasn't sure if it was the band or her, but something wouldn't let him pursue her, at least . . . not yet. Maybe it was too soon after her heartbreak or maybe it was the vibes he felt he was getting from her. They hadn't known each other very long, but at times he felt he could read her like a book. Like now, a part of him said she felt the same way he felt about her. . the way her eyes glowed when she watched him, the way she smiled when he was near, the words that came out of her mouth. It was like she was guarded about what she said to him, but sometimes what she was really thinking slipped out before she knew it. But then, a part of him said he was only reading something into it that just wasn't there, just because he wanted it to be that way.
"There's someone out there for you," he finally said. "You deserve much more than that jerk. Any guy would be lucky to have you." And then he wondered if he had said too much by the look she gave him. He quickly reverted his gaze back to the set. "Well, I gotta go to make-up."
"Are they shooting your scene first?" she asked, glad they were getting on another subject. She had been tempted to blurt out that she wanted him to be the one . . . the one to make everything okay for her. She took one last look at the bed, wishful thinking quickly replaced by the business at hand.
"No," he answered, glancing back down the aisle. "They're setting up at Kevin's set first. That's where they'll start. But my set's ready, so I'll either be after him or the next one. Have you seen Nick's set?"
"No," she answered, stepping away from the set and back into the aisle. "Is it finished?"
"I think so," he said, following her. "I heard its pretty wild."
"Kind of like him," she laughed. Brian joined her laughter for a moment and then grew serious. "Are you sticking around for the shoot?"
"I wouldn't miss it," she said, not willing to part from him just yet. She wanted to follow him to make-up and then stay by his side for the rest of the day. "I brought my camera and thought I'd take a few pictures."
"For publicity?" he asked.
"No," she smiled. "For myself."
"I'd like to see them when you're finished," he said, starting to walk back down the aisle towards make-up. He stopped a few feet from her and then turned, adding, "Jennifer?"
"Yeah?" she answered, turning back to face him.
"Everything will work out for you if you give yourself a chance to love again." His eyes spoke volumes, more than what he actually said, and she was swept away at the implications. Was he trying to tell her that he wanted a chance to do that very thing? She watched him for a moment, desperately searching for the answer to that question.
"I want that more than anything, Brian," she answered him; inwardly hoping he was getting her message. They stood for a moment, both lost in their own thoughts of what the other might be trying to say and then she turned and headed back up the aisle.
She watched them shoot Kevin's scene and she smiled. He was gorgeous, about that there was no doubt and the girl they had cast to share the scene with him, matched his good looks. She was a beautiful woman and they did a good job of shooting the scene. When she looked up, she could see Brian on the other side of the set, his eyes on her. She smiled at him, wanting to move across the space between them. Just then, Nigel walked up to her and touched her arm. "Jennifer," he began, and she could see worry lines across his face.
"What's wrong?" she asked, instantly worried.
"I need your help," he said, taking her arm and leading her away from the crowd standing around watching the shoot.
"Sure," she said. "What do you want me to do?"
"The girl we hired for Nick's scene didn't show."
"You're kidding!" she said, incredulous. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure," he said. "We've been trying to get a hold of her and her agent for two hours now and nothing . . . not a word."
"What are you going to do?" she asked, staring at him. "What can I do?"
"It's too late to find someone else," he said, shaking his head. "Unless we extend the shoot until tomorrow."
"That would cost us a fortune!" she cried.
"I know," he said, his eyes locking with hers. "Can you help us out?"
"What . . .?" she began and then realized what he was asking. "You mean . . .? Oh, Nigel . . . I don't know."
"You would be perfect," he argued. "You're young, beautiful. Your blonde hair and eyes compliment Nick's. We couldn't have hired anyone else that would have looked as good. Come on . . ." he pleaded. "I'm desperate!"
She grimaced. Of course, she would do anything to help the band, but star in a video shoot? That was pushing it! "Nigel . . ."
"Jennifer, you're my only hope!" he said, guiding her down towards make-up. "They've got everything ready in make-up. All you have to do is get dressed and do what I say. You and Nick are already so close; it won't be that big of a deal. Please . . ."
When they reached make-up, she turned to Nigel. "You haven't left me much choice," she said, her eyes boring into his.
"I don't have much choice," he said. "Besides, you'll do great!"
She smiled at him and then said, "Okay. But you owe me."
"No problem," he said. "I'll tell Nick." And then kissing her on the cheek as she sat down in the chair, "You're a sweetheart!"
"You better not forget it!" she called after him.
The scene was to be shot in several different shots. The video itself would cut to each band member in his room at different times during the entire video, so each shot would be made all at once but would appear in the video separately. Jennifer was very nervous as she sat on the floor, preparing herself for the first shot. Nick's room was wild that was for sure. There was a circular bed in the middle, covered with a bright red coverlet. The floor was bare and the walls were covered with running lava-lamp type lights. She looked around as she waited to see Nick. A crowd was starting to appear outside of the set and she tried looking around for Brian but couldn't see anything for the lights. She had missed his shoot because of make-up and she was sorely disappointed. And now as she sat on the floor, she felt her stomach lurch. She was not comfortable doing this.
Suddenly Nick walked through the bright glare of lights and she was glad to see him. "Hi!" he said, a big grin crossing his face. "Boy is I glad to see you," he said, coming over to sit with her on the floor. His hair was falling into his face and she noticed that instead of the usual straight part down the middle, it was a popular zigzag part.
"How did they get your hair to do that?" she asked, reaching up to touch it.
"Lots of hairspray," he said laughing. "You nervous?"
"Yeah," she admitted. "Can you tell?"
"Yeah," he laughed. "It'll be okay," he said, his hand reaching over to cover hers. "The lights really help because you can't see anyone. Nigel will tell us what to do and then just follow me. I'll help you."
She reached over to hug his neck. "Thanks," she said.
"I should be thanking you," he said, grinning back at her. "You're saving our asses."
"Okay! You guys ready?" Jennifer and Nick looked up to see Nigel smiling down at them.
"Yeah," Nick said, rising. He stuck out his hand for hers and Jennifer took it as he helped her to her feet. "What do you want to do first?"
"I think we'll go in sequential order. We'll start with Nick by himself and then we'll put Jennifer in and fill in the gaps. You ready?" he asked, turning to face her.
"Yeah," she said her voice barely a whisper. "I think so."
"You'll do great," he swore, reaching out to squeeze her arm. The make-up artist was suddenly there, running a powder brush one last time over Nick's face as Jennifer walked off the set and to the left. As she stepped out of the bright lights, her eyes had to readjust to the dimness of the rest of the room. Suddenly she saw Brian.
He grinned at her and crossed over to where she stood. "Hey," he said. "I heard about what you're doing. That's great!"
"I don't know," she admitted, smiling at him. "I don't think I can do this."
"Sure you can," he said, grasping her hand. "You'll do great!'
"I'm pretty nervous," she said, turning to watch Nick as the music started. He performed easily and it made her worry if she'd ruin the shoot. She let go of Brian's hand and wrung her hands, her nervousness showing.
"You'll do fine," he assured her again. He watched Nick for a few moments, listening to Nigel shouting out instructions.
"I missed your shoot," she said, turning to look at him. "I was in make-up. How did it go?"
"Good," he answered her. Suddenly he remembered that in Nick's scene it called for them to kiss and he was surprised at the way that realization made him feel. As he turned to look at her, he wished that she had replaced the girl in his scene instead of Nick's. He wasn't sure he wanted to watch her kiss his best friend. "It was good," he repeated.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I really wanted to see it."
"It wasn't as fun as the scene you're going to shoot," he said, turning back to watch Nick.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you and Nick get to do some fun stuff. Y'all are supposed to kind of wrestle around on the floor, blow bubbles . . . you know fun stuff."
"Yeah," she said, suddenly remembering that they were supposed to kiss as well. As she watched Nick, she couldn't help but wish it was going to be Brian up there with her. Nick was cute . . . no doubt about that, but he was a lot younger than her. Besides, he wasn't the one she was interested in. "It's going to be weird when I have to kiss him," she said.
"Why's that?" he said, not sure he really wanted to hear about it. For that matter, he wasn't sure he could watch it. It bothered him to think that they would be doing it and probably not just once. He had done enough video shoots to know that it was rare that they got it right the first time.
"I don't know," she said, wondering if she could explain it. She looked over at Nick as he danced around, lip syncing to the music and tried. "I know you guys, and Nick and I are friends."
"It would be that way with any of us," he said, turning to look at her.
She wanted to say 'No!' that it wouldn't. If she was kissing Brian, it wouldn't be the same. She just looked over at him and said, "Yeah, I guess."
Brian's heart sank. She didn't think of him any differently than she did Nick. He raised his eyebrows and turned his gaze back towards the set. They had stopped the music and Nigel was giving Nick some instructions. He couldn't hear what they were and he didn't care. All he cared about was the girl standing next to him and the fact that she didn't feel the same way about him that he did about her.
"Jennifer!" Brian and Jennifer both looked as Nigel waved her over onto the set.
She turned towards Brian. "Wish me luck?"
"You know I do," he said, smiling at her. They both stood there for a moment, each wondering what the other was thinking and then, "You better go."
She smiled at him one last time and walked over into the lights, where she couldn't see him as she turned one last time to look in his direction. "What did you think?" Nick asked, reaching over for her.
"You did great!" she said, quickly hugging him. "I hope I don't screw it up."
"Please!!" he said, laughing at her. "You're going to make this video. I hope I don't make you look bad."
"There's no way you could make anyone look bad, Nick," she said, admiring his natural good looks. A part of her wished he wasn't so much younger than her. It seemed like it would be easier to have a relationship with him than Brian. He wasn't as guarded.
"Thanks," he said, smiling down at her. He had on bright blue leather pants and a plain, long-sleeved black T-shirt. That part in his hair looked great on him and Jennifer made a mental note to have the hairdresser try it on her.
"Okay," Nigel said crossing over to where they stood together. "I think we're going to start on the floor." Both of them sat down in front of the bed as Nigel tried to explain what he wanted from them. "Now, for the first shot, Nick's not going to do any lips syncing. I just the two of you to play around . . . wrestle ... whatever. Not too many big movements and try to slow it down some. You can talk, laugh, whatever. We can cut the sound out once the music is put back into it. Any questions?"
They both shook their head as Jennifer looked over at Nick. He was busy listening to Nigel and she wasn't sure she could do this. She had on stretch leggings with a paisley tank top that came just below her breasts. The hair dresser had pulled part of her hair back and left the rest down. She had on a large cross necklace that hung between her breasts and was barefoot. It was supposed to be a playful and romantic shoot. Her long fingernails and toenails had been lacquered a bright blue that matched Nick's pants. The group standing around them could see a striking resemblance in both Nick and Jennifer. They looked like a real couple and Brian couldn't help but notice it himself.
The first run through was awkward because Jennifer was so conscious of the people watching. It was Nick who called cut and asked for a moment. He sat for a moment looking over at her and took her hand in his. "You okay?"
"I'm sorry . . ." she said, frustration building in her. "I've never done anything like this before."
"I don't want you to think about the shoot," he said, smiling down at her. "Just think of me and you on the bus playing around." He looked around the set and then added, "Just imagine that I've beat you at Nintendo . . . again," he said, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "And you're about to tickle me to death, just like you really do."