The day of the shoot dawned as cold as, according to the weatherman, it ever got in DC in February. Maybe even colder.
I pulled on my heaviest coat, hat, gloves, and trudged through falling snow to the gymnasium we were using. I would be missing this come summer, I thought, wryly – despite the heavy clothes I still didn’t feel cold. I couldn’t tell whether I was just able to ignore it or whether I was somehow carrying my own heat with me. Or both. Stepping inside, at least, it was warm. There were people setting up.
And one of them was the male witch. I sighed inwardly. If he messed with my job I might just set a fairy on him. Or my father. Or just casually trip him into something embarrassing.
He’d somehow wrangled a job loading in, which wasn’t that hard. Unloading boxes took a bit of strength, but not much skill, and half of the time they hired students to do it. I headed back to the changing area, studiously ignoring him. He tried to get my attention, but I pretended I didn’t know him.
“Jane’s got a boyfriend,” one girl said.
“Nah. Didn’t you know? Jane’s gay.”
Neither statement was true, so I ignored both of them, stripping off my jacket as I warmed up. He was only here to cause trouble. “He’s not my boyfriend. He’s like…this weird guy who was hanging around outside the school.”
The second woman to speak shook her head. “You get all the stalkers, Jane. Then again, maybe it’s a compliment?”
I brushed back my hair. It wasn’t quite a flip. “Depends on the quality of the stalkers, I suppose. But this one, I think, wants to be a model himself. Or a photographer. Or, you know, anything to get close. Wannabe designer, probably.”
It was as good a way to explain him as any; even if we couldn’t coordinate stories. Well, wouldn’t. I wasn’t about to help him keep his cover after what his coven had done. The general cover, though, that mattered.
And maybe he was even a wannabe designer. I knew his presence here wasn’t likely to be innocent.
The doors opened and a couple more girls came in. One of them was new, and she looked absolutely terrified. The one with her seemed to be handling it, though. I tugged off hat, gloves and sweater and waited for instructions.
Like all shoots, it was hurry up and wait. Get made up. Put on outfit number one. I’d gotten used to the routine. I just hoped nothing happened to interrupt it.
Between takes, he sidled over to me. “I know how you feel, but we need you.”
“Should have asked,” I murmured back. “Should have…”
I didn’t have the chance to finish that statement.