Today was finally the big day. All the prepping and planning had led to this one singular moment.
my God.” Lucas came up beside me. He had his little makeup belt and was looking around the set. His eyes were wide with wonder. I had looked just the same when I viewed the site for the first time. “I knew these guys had a budget but damn. It makes what we had been working on child’s play.”
I placed my arm around his waist and gave him a side hug. “This is our moment. We earned this.”
He turned and hugged me face-on. “I can’t believe we’re here.”
“Well, believe it.” I smiled.
I was drinking in every single moment of the day. I didn’t want to take anything for granted. I knew where I had come from and I knew where I wanted to go.
“Let’s get ready for the first scene.” I pulled myself out of his hold and walked over to my chair as Gabriel and Tiffany got ready.
After my talk with Damon on the beach he was no longer worried about Gabriel, not that he ever had to be. The man was nowhere near the standard of my husband. And it wasn’t because he was bad looking-far from it actually. But I just didn’t get the same rush that I got from Damon.
I settled into my seat greeting my assistant directors. I picked up my mic and for the first time in this project, I called for silence.
“Okay everyone, let’s get this show on the road.” I nodded to the clapper loader on my staff.
“Right,” he moved into the frame, “Samuel and Jasmine war room scene, take one. Action.”
He rushed out of the frame and the cameras moved in on Tiffany and Gabriel.
“War?! Samuel, you threaten my people with war? How can you do this to me?” Tiffany walked to the table and sat at the head of the chair. She looked at the map that had been laid out to signify the kingdom of Versti (the world that Emma had created). “You say you care for me and that I am to be your bride but you allow your father to do this?”
“It is not war, Jasmine.”
Tiffany scoffed, “Then what do you call this? What do you call these strategies?”
They were both silent waiting for the appropriate time to continue.
“How long must you keep hurting me? How much longer?” Tiffany was meant to sound more broken than this but her words didn’t hold the emotion I wanted.
“I am to be king,” Gabriel sighed. “I must think of my people first. I must think of their needs.”
“And what of your wife’s?”
I stared at the monitor with my brows furrowed. “This isn’t working.” I grabbed the mic from beside me. “Cut.”
“Cut.” The word echoed through the room.
I hopped off my chair and made my way to my two leads. Tiffany already knew that it was about her. It was the way she looked at me and smiled nervously.
I waved her off. “No, don’t you dare apologize to me. I only want to help you, okay?”
I crouched down so we were at eye level. “I need more emotion out of you. I need you to really feel what you’re saying. You’ve just found out that this man has been lying to you. You found out that he wants to kill your people, your countrymen. I need the pain to come through, okay?”
She nodded, still looking a little unsure.
Tiffany looked the part of Jasmine. She had long blonde hair that brushed her back and blue-grey contacts that gave her those deep ocean eyes.
“Okay, let me show you. Gabriel, come stand here with me.” We took a few steps to the left and I prepared myself for what I was about to do. “We’ll go from the part where Jasmine is raging at Samuel. That’s when we get our most emotional.”
Gabriel nodded, already getting himself into character. “Should I start us off?”
I remembered the majority of what the script said seeing as I had worked on it for months. “Okay, go.”
Gabriel stepped toward me, his hand reaching to touch my face. “What do you want me to do? Shall I decide between my duty and my heart?”
I pulled away from his touch. “There shouldn’t even be a choice. I should come first, Samuel. I should be the one that you choose against everything.”
“But I am to be king
“And you are also meant to be my husband.” I made my voice break at the end. “Are you saying that your love for your people weighs far greater than your love for me? Is that what is to become of us? Am I to be your second choice?”
I forced the tears to brim my eyes. This was the part that I needed Tiffany to execute well. I needed to get all the emotion to pour out of her, but not like a large gush, more of a trickle.
Gabriel stepped even closer, cupping my cheek in his large hand. I made sure to hold eye contact with him. His eyes moved over my face in a triangle movement. Left eye, then right eye, then my mouth, and back again.
The way he did it made it seem so appealing and satisfying. The man had a way of charming anyone even without words.
His thumb rubbed my cheek gently. “I would burn the world for you, Jasmine.”
I parted my lips acting like I was about to speak but then closed them again. I closed my eyes causing the singular tear to fall from my eye. The tear trickled down my cheek until it hit his thumb. I opened my eyes to meet his molten gaze.
“Then why are you choosing to drive this knife into my heart? Why are you choosing against us?”
“I’m not against us.
“You aren’t for us, Samuel.” Something moved in the air at that moment. I don’t know what it was but the atmosphere had shifted.
I was so deep into this performance, the entire set had disappeared and I had truly become Jasmine.
“I love you”
“Of course, I do, Jasmine.” That’s when he wound his arm around my waist and pulled me into him. 1 let out an audible gasp right on cue and pressed my hands against his chest. “There is no moment in this life and no breath in which I take that I do not love you. I live for you. I breathe for you. And I would die for you.”
The words had so much weight behind them and the way in which he carried out the performance was spectacular.
I gulped, pulling myself out of his hold. “And scene. That was great.”
To be honest that was not the end of the scene. They were meant to share a passionate kiss but there was no way I was going to do that.
I turned to Tiffany who was looking between Gabriel and me weirdly. I couldn’t fully decipher what the look was but whatever it was, I didn’t want to dive too deep into it at this given point in time. We had a movie to make.
“Something like that, got it?”
She nodded slowly getting up from her seat. “Yeah. I’ll do it better this time around.”
I walked back to my chair and settled in where my assistants were. I didn’t miss the little look that Jenna sent from the side of the set with her arms crossed over her chest.
Now with her, I knew her face well and I could easily read what she wanted to say.
‘Girl, what are you doing?”
Damon’s words trickled into my mind from that night on the beach but I brushed them off. There was nothing going on between me and Gabriel. This was not another Angela and Damon story. This was me and I loved my husband and would give it all up in a heartbeat if it meant I could keep my marriage intact.
And if there were feelings then Gabriel needed to get rid of them because I was not going to be swayed from the man I loved. He would be fighting a losing battle.