Testing Paradise Waters: Chapter One

Author’s Note: Thank you for reading! I’d like to thank my lovely editor Danielle for helping me out with this! It will be a great experience writing this for you all! Like always, feedback and criticism is always appreciated! Enjoy!

 

“Ugh,” I grumbled, my nerves invading my stomach, appetite diminishing the more I think about being on set of the upcoming film, Paradise Lost.  “I’m actually really nervous about today… Is that bad?”

My best friend Kiersten sat down at the kitchen table with me, digging into her scrambled eggs as I pushed mine around with my fork.  “Well, why are you so nervous?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I sighed, pushing my plate away from me.  “I guess it’s because I’ll be inches away from celebrities.  You know how starstruck I get.”

“I also know how great you are at acting,” she smiled.  “Trust me, once you get into your zone, you’ll forget the people around you are even celebrities.  Besides… You’re just an extra.  You won’t even interact with them much.”

“I sure hope that’s the case.  Maybe I won’t even know the actors.  I don’t really know who all is cast in it.”

“Yeah, that’s true.  Plus, we’re in Panama and it’s an independent film.  There probably won’t even be any big American actors in it.”

I laughed, shaking my head. “No no no, now you know that’s not always true, Kiersten.  Thanks for trying to help though.” I did feel a little better, discussing my problems with the girl I’ve confided in for five years.  I grabbed my purse and keys from the chair beside me and headed for the door.

“I know, but it could be true this time, Kay.  You never know.  Until you actually know who’s in this movie, don’t worry.  Okay?”  She put on her happiest reassuring expression, and it put me at ease almost instantly.

“Thanks, Kierst.” I returned the grin back to her and walked out of the apartment, and in the car, ready for the day ahead of me.


***


“Name please,” a short, stout woman with a clipboard approached me.

“Kay- Kayla Del Rio,” I stammered, nerves hitting me again like a ton of bricks.

“Del Rio…” She highlighted my name, and gestured for me to walk over towards a group of people, looking just as clueless as I. “You’re just in time. They’re about to start the set tour.”

I murmured a thanks as I made my way over to the group, taking a deep breath. I really didn’t think that I would make such a big deal out of this. I was just an extra. A nobody. No one was going to be criticizing my acting.

Only-half focusing on my surroundings, I continued to give myself a pep talk all throughout the tour. The place was beautiful, but I was actually really anxious to see the stars that I could potentially meet during this time. We walked past some trailers, and I struggled to make out the names on them.

I spotted Carlos Bardem.

Don’t know who that is. Good. 

Claudia Traisac.

Two for two. Great. 

Benicio del Toro.

I gasped. That’s a pretty big name. My heart started to pump faster, harder, and a lump rose in my throat. After seeing that name, I couldn’t divide my attention to anything else. It took all the other extras to walk off in separate directions for me to realize that the tour had concluded, and I took the opportunity to text Kiersten.

Benicio del Toro. Big name. I’m freaking out.  I sent it and started for a large picnic table to take a seat and gain my composure before filming started. My phone jingled and I unlocked it:

You’ll be fine. Lol. Relax.

I swallowed and slid my phone back into the back pocket of my shorts.

Relax, she said. Just relax.

I shifted on the bench awkwardly, trying to really take in the scenery that I had to work on for the next couple of days. It was absolutely beautiful.  I tilted my face up to the sun, letting the rays hit my face pleasantly. I smiled to myself, closing my eyes.  Choosing Panama to study abroad for school was the best choice I could make.  The weather was just perfect for me; I loved the constant summer feel… It was like a better, not-so-bipolar, tropical version of South Carolina.

“Enjoying the day?”  I heard a male voice ask, startling me.  I opened my eyes to find one of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen standing before me.  It took me a second to process who he was until….

Josh Hutcherson…

“Oh…Um…,” was all I could manage to utter before he chuckled and sat down beside me.

“I’m so sorry,” he grinned, amusement glimmering in his hazel green eyes.  “I didn’t mean to catch you off guard like that.”

He offered his hand to me. “I’m Josh.  What’s your name?”

I took it and held it in a firm shake, strongly and with false confidence.  His hand was soft, his grip on me unnerving.  

“I know who you are…Josh…Hutcherson…” I drawled, my breathing hitched and my heart racing uncontrollably.  “I’m Kayla.  Kayla Del Rio.”

“Nice to meet you…Kayla Del Rio.” His voice and my name were a perfect match-up, sounding smooth and rich, like velvet.  “That’s a pretty name.” He smiled again, and I was weak.

He was much more gorgeous and sexy in person… How was that even possible?

His hold on my hand loosened slowly, lingering, his fingers brushing lightly, sending chills up and down my arms.

“So are you gonna be on set here as an extra?” he questioned, scooting himself a little closer to me.

“Yes, for about a week,” I answered, trying to stay cool, my eyes lost in his.

“Awesome,” he nudged me with his elbow, trying to lighten me up. I probably looked scared out of my mind. “So I guess I’ll see you around?”

“See you around,” I repeated in disbelief, finally bringing myself to return a smile. “Yeah..I’ll see you around.”

“And if I don’t get a chance to talk to you today, how about we exchange numbers? We can talk about maybe having dinner sometime.”

My jaw dropped. “Di-dinner..?”

“Well, yeah, why not? I mean, I’d love to keep talking to you right now, but we’ve got a job to do,” he laughed and asked for my phone, and he saved his number in it.

“Text me so I have your number, and I’ll call ya.” He stood up, and ambled backwards, ready to leave me at the table while I sat there, speechless, smiling stupidly.

“You’ve got a beautiful smile, by the way,” he called out to me and winked, and with that, he turned around and left.

—-

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