Lydia shifted in her seat. Her outfit also shifted. Lydia wasn’t sure whether she enjoyed or resented that. Almost immediately she realized that had she been alone, it probably would've been the former. After all, she had worked hard to maintain her looks.
It wasn't like she exercised until she dropped or starved herself. Her parents' English Rose heredity took care of the big stuff—her flawless skin, her smooth flesh, her wonderful shape, and her soft, serene, and inviting beauty, but Lydia did sweat the little stuff. She took care of herself, got plenty of sleep, and took pains to present herself in exactly the right way.
Hence the outfit. Lydia called it her audition clothes. The minidress was rather costly for so seemingly a simple shift. Sleeveless, v-necked, and ending almost two-thirds up the thigh, it seemed to almost glow—sometimes black and sometimes dark red, depending on the light. It also adhered to her perfectly—so perfectly that not only was underwear not required, it was unnecessary and, in fact, a detriment. The perfect shape would have been marred by the line of bras, panties, or even pantyhose.
Still, there was no obvious nipple marks. The dress practically fondled her breasts—collecting, shaping, and displaying them without creating the self-consciously distracting nubs. She liked producers looking at her big blue eyes, rather than high on her chest. Still, there was no real chance of that. This producer, at this meeting, for this audition, was a woman.
Certainly a strong, hard-looking woman, but a woman, nonetheless. She, and her wiry, stringy-haired assistant, certainly didn't seem unduly annoyed by their latest auditioner's sexiness, however. Maybe they were lesbians, Lydia considered. Well, this was L.A. ... nothing unusual about sexy starlets or Hollywood dykes. Even female producers wanted their female stars to look good.
And Lydia looked good ... very good. She shifted back as the woman producer returned to her seat in the simple, windowless, wood-paneled office (nothing unusual about that, either—neither producers nor starlets wanted their machinations to be seen from the street).
"Well, thank you, Ms. Anton," said the obviously iron-pumping producer, "for coming to this audi...appointment on such short notice."
"That's quite all right, Ms. Buchler," Lydia replied easily, enjoying the way the woman watched her lips caress the words. She also appreciated that Buchler went out of her way to signal that Lydia was too far along in her career to go on mere auditions anymore. "My agent highly recommended it."
"Ah, yes," said Buchler with a little smile. "Your agent. I appreciate how he's helped us."
Lydia mentally frowned. What was that all about? Even after the relatively short time she spent in the movie capitol, she had become accustomed to every word having extra meaning. "Yes...," she finally said. "I appreciate his help, too." But she meant it. She prided herself on not succumbing to the undercurrents. That may have been one of the reasons she wasn't even further along in her career. That was why she had this new agent. He had convinced her that he would break her career bottleneck ... he assured her that, with him, she would go far ... very far.
"Well, enough banter," said Buchler, snapping Lydia out of her reverie. "We had better get going. May I see your hands?"
Lydia blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
Buchler laughed easily. "I suppose you're used to people asking to see other parts of your body. Not to worry. I've seen the result ... your films and the like. So I certainly don't require you to convince me that you are a beautiful girl...woman. I already know that...I can see that. But in our ... plot ... your hands, and how they look, are very important...close-ups, you know. May I?" Buchler held out her own hands casually.
Lydia paused for only a second. She shifted in her seat again, forward this time. Thankfully the seat was designed so that she didn't have to perch her firm rear onto its edge.
She just leaned forward, still with her back straight, unavoidably giving Buchler a lovely view of her cleavage, if she chose to take it. It was a strange position, made all the more unnerving by the movement in her peripheral vision.
Buchler's assistant, Madge, had taken that moment to move to her own desk. Lydia's attention was divided between Buchler taking her hands in her own and Madge's movements behind her. Lydia felt an odd feeling along her spine. Although she loved unusual projects, this was rubbing her the wrong way, both literally and figuratively.
Calm down, she told herself. Her agent was well known as a reputable maker of major stars. He knew what he was doing. Even so, Lydia couldn't help herself. Even with her hands still held by Buchler, Lydia turned her head to Madge's desk. What she saw there confused her all the more.
Madge was coming around her desk holding a strap in one hand and a sodden cloth in the other.
She reached beyond the perplexed Lydia's face and plopped the sodden cloth on the edge of the producer's desk. Then she slipped behind the actress again.
Lydia looked back to Buchler just as the woman suddenly gripped the actress' wrists with the fierceness of a falcon.
Lydia winced, then started in surprise as Madge flung the strap across her lap. She opened her mouth, then gasped as the strap was wrenched tight around her waist. Her head whirled to Madge, then back to Buchler as the producer pulled on her arms. The producer saw the big blue eyes get even bigger and the mouth open to finally complain.
That's when Madge snatched back the sodden cloth and clamped it over the lower half of Lydia's face.
Joyce Buchler almost laughed as she tightened her grip and continued to pull. After all, the young blonde's blue eyes couldn't have been any larger above the cloth (and below the chin of Madge Sinclair, who was holding the actress in a head lock).
TO BE CONTINUED