Many of you know that the main character in PRETENDING HE’S MINE has a minor role in CAUGHT UP IN US. To get you ready for Pretending He’s Mine (March 2), I wanted to share a brief excerpt from Caught Up In Us when Kat first meets Reeve….
The music drowned out my day and my night. Jill and her castmates had grabbed guitars and jumped on stage at the bar post-show to jam out an impromptu version of Les Mis’ popular song One Day More. The show itself was amazing; the producers wanted to mix things up so they fast-forwarded the story to modern-day France and added guitars and drums to the orchestra of the off-Broadway production.
Now, we were at a nearby club in Soho, celebrating opening night of the month-long run. Imagine One Day More performed as a power ballad. Because, yes, Jill could handle a guitar too. She jammed hard on her Stratocaster and the amps howled out chords. The guy who played Marius, a young actor named Reeve, whipped the audience into a frenzy as he led the song. When he reached the chorus, he thrust the mic towards the crowd and they responded with the words they’d either known for years or learned when the Hugh Jackman movie became a hit.
My brother Nate was with me, but he was at the bar refilling our drinks. I raised an arm and sang along, the music smashing through my body, and echoing across the whole lot of us jammed together in front of the tiny stage. Reeve was a certified babe. He was tall and lanky, wore hipster jeans, and a tee-shirt with a vest. He had the requisite long hair that fell in his eyes while he sang. I’d met him once during rehearsals, and had asked Jill if she’d be into him because he seemed her type. He was straight, quite rare for a musical theater man. But Jill had reminded me of the old adage about not getting involved with people you work with. Good advice, indeed.
Maybe I should go for Reeve. Maybe Reeve was exactly what I’d need to get Bryan Leighton and his too-business-like approach out of my system. Maybe it was time to return to actors and other artists. Bryan had called me a few times after I took off from his factory that afternoon, but I didn’t pick up. He emailed too. He wanted to know where I was. If I was okay. If something was wrong.
My reply was simple:
I forgot I had an appointment in the city. The factory is amazing, and I am learning so much.
I didn’t say anything more, and certainly not anything personal, and definitely not a thanks for the O! He didn’t reply, and his radio silence the rest of the evening affirmed that I’d made the right choice to bail.
Reeve belted out the final verse to the song, then mimed strumming a guitar solo alongside Jill as the song faded to its end. “Thank you so much for coming to the show, and to hang out with us all afterwards. You are a kickass audience, and you rock my red and black world,” Reeve said, and several women shrieked and held their arms out towards him….
(THEN THERE’S A BRIEF INTERLUDE WITH OTHER STUFF, AND NOW BACK TO REEVE!)
Jill sighed heavily. “Fine. Be that way.” She tipped her forehead to Reeve. “I know someone who might want to take your mind off Bryan.”
“He is cute,” I admitted.
She nudged me with an elbow. “He thinks you’re cute too. Let’s go chat.”
When we returned to the boys, Jill struck up a conversation with Nate, sliding into her role as wingwoman.
Reeve moved closer to me. “So, you liked the show?”
“It was great.”
“What did you think about the modern feel of it?”
“It was the best. Master of the House was like a Jay-Z rap, and when you sang Empty Chairs at Empty Tables you sounded like the lead singer of Arcade Fire, and they’re only my favorite band ever.”
“Arcade Fire pretty much sets the standard for musical awesome. They’re amazing.”
“And so was your show. I was definitely into it.”
“What else are you into, Kat?” he asked.
I wasn’t sure if it was a prelude to a line, so I answered him directly. “Movies. I like movies. You?”
“I’d like to star in some movies,” he said. “I have an audition next week for a Joss Whedon film.”
“Wow. That would be incredible.”
I’d dated an actor once and it hadn’t worked out, but Reeve had the self-confidence Michael lacked. So as we talked about our shared love of all things Joss Whedon, I let my mind wander to his mouth, imagining what it would be like to kiss him. His lips were red and full, and he smelled of sweat and beer and the adrenaline of a fabulous opening night. I bet he tasted good, like charisma, like stage presence, like a star in the making who knew how to perform. I bet I’d enjoy the kiss. But I couldn’t kiss him tonight. I’d already been kissed by someone who could turn me inside out. By someone who had tilted my world.
When the night wound down, Reeve asked if I wanted to go somewhere quieter and have a nightcap. The offer would be tempting to almost any girl, but it was wasted on me. “I think you’re incredibly talented and will have an epic career,” I said to Reeve. “I have an early wake-up call tomorrow so I should go.”
So there’s Reeve! As you can probably guess, he and Kat don’t get together in CAUGHT UP IN US. But don’t you worry! I’ve made sure that Reeve gets plenty of attention from another gal in PRETENDING HE’S MINE!