Chapter 2: Introductions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 186

Three years later…


Poppy’s POV


London was one of those places that even from a young age had captured my heart. Much like the big city of New York, it pulled me in with the promise of a better life; of adventure and an ever-changing environment that meant life could never be boring. However unlike New York, London actually lived up to the hype. In New York my life became too complicated. The big city was just a bit too big and there was too much room for things to go wrong and to lose track of the things that were supposed to be important. London was different.


London offered a fast paced life that forever kept me interested and offered up new opportunities for anyone willing to make the effort. Yet it still allowed for a quiet retreat at the end of the day; a place to return to and feel at ease, knowing that everything within your life was flowing smoothly and going to plan.


And part of my plan on a bright June morning in 2012 was to get into work on time.

“Is this really about to happen?” I said with the hint of a laugh in my voice as I turned the steering wheel of my car abruptly, stealing one of the few parking spaces left before anybody else could grab it. “I mean seriously, this is something that is actually happening and I’m not just having some ridiculous day dream?”

“Poppy for the last time, yes! Yes this is happening so will you get your arse in here before everyone arrives and you make me look bad for having an assistant who can’t keep track of time?!” There was a sarcastic and playful tone within my best friends words that eased me, causing a softer smile to spread across my face.

“Yes sir! Slave Poppy is coming inside as we speak.” I grinned before hanging up my phone and sliding it inside my pastel pink tote bag, exchanging it for my temporary pass to get into the Warner Bros. Studios in Hertfordshire. After checking myself in I made the walk down endless corridors that all looked pretty much the same; cream colour walls to make the place look spacious and movie posters surrounded by lights in very specific positions. It all looked pretty simple, but you know every tiny detail had been planned out; each poster being lined up with the next to ensure nothing looked out of place or wonky.


I had enjoyed working within the studios over the past month. It was a nice change from my usual scenery that included four blank walls and a computer screen as I wrote endless articles and interviews. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job, writing was my passion, but it certainly got tedious sometimes. So naturally, when my best friend, Belle Young invited me to be her personal assistant for the summer, I jumped at the chance. She was a bright, ambitious up and coming designer who had worked for the past three years within West End creating costumes for the most popular shows. However, now she had finally been noticed by head hunters for iconic film director, Christopher Miller and had been brought on-board to design and create costumes for his upcoming mystery movie. Set in the 1920’s, Whiskey Lullabies would reminisce with love upon the era; no expense would be wasted in assuring the look and feel of the movie was that of elegance and style. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to know too much about the movie, but I knew enough to be able to have an opinion on it; I knew enough to be excited for its release as well as to be excited about working on it in any way I could.


“Oh finally!” The sound of Belle’s voice drew me from my thoughts and I was soon smiling, looking at her fondly as I saw the stress in her eyes.

“Calm down, will you? You always get stressed when you don’t need to!” I assured her, casually walking into her huge studio and office space. While she buzzed around the room, making sure she had everything she needed, I relaxed and took a seat on the luxuriously soft brown sofas that faced a podium; a podium that later, our guests would stand upon as they got measured. I sat with my legs crossed, bag at my side as I sipped the drink I had poured myself.

“I can’t calm down! In five minutes two of the biggest actors in the UK right now are going to walk through those doors and I have to pretend I’m perfectly used to this kind of stuff!” Belle’s voice was shaky and as I looked over to her, I could see her beginning to pace, eyes darting all around the room as if they’d seek out a problem to solve; something to mess her day up.

“Belle,” I placed my drink down on the glass coffee table in front of me before standing. Walking over to her, I stood up straight and confident. “You are used to this stuff. For three years you’ve worked with stars of the stage and before that, you did it for Broadway too! You are perfect for this job and you know that! Chris asked for you personally after he saw the work you did for the re-vamp of Blood Brothers!” I grasped her shoulders, forcing her to look directly at me and focus entirely on what I was saying. “So take a deep breath, finish up my drink over there to settle your nerves and get it together.” I grinned at her as I moved one of my hands to her shoulder length blonde hair and smoothed it out. “You are amazing.” I said with certainty before stepping back, waiting for her to do exactly as I had said. After a moment to breathe she let out a smile, albeit a slightly wobbly one, but a smile nonetheless.

“You’re right. I can do this; I can definitely ignore the fact that I’m working with two actors I’ve adored for years now. Mhmm, I can get my shit together and I definitely wont freak out when I’m taking their measurements… touching them.” Belle’s eyes went wide and she licked her lips after draining the remnants of my drink. I just laughed, shaking my head.

“Ever the professional.” I winked.


Then it happened. The soft but insistent knocking on the door that signalled now was the time; they were here and it was time to be on our best behaviour. No freaking out, no getting star struck. Okay, now I was getting a little giddy. However, Belle now had her act together and took charge, closing the gap between her and the door. She opened it, a beaming smile on her face no doubt as the sight of the two gorgeous young men greeted her. “Welcome, I’m Belle Young. Would you like to come and take a seat?” Her voice showed no sign of weakness now, only strength and conviction as she did her job. I merely stood by as she got them both settled, letting them know what would be happening today. “This is my best friend and assistant, Poppy Smith. If there’s anything you need today, you can ask her.” Belle introduced me and suddenly my breath caught in my throat but before I could speak a word, the shorter one of the two men jumped in.

“So you’ll be tending to our every need?” He spoke with such charm and grace; his voice deep, yet kind and those eyes were somehow comforting, the smile on his face reaching them. I chuckled a little, rolling my eyes and shrugging to steal some time while I found my voice.

“I suppose so, yes. I’m the lackey.” I met his hazel eyes with my own dark brown ones. Although there was comfort in his eyes, he gave none of his emotions or thoughts away within his expression. He merely looked content and nodded before the other actor spoke.

“Well then, I don’t suppose I could get a drink? Today has already been so busy that I’ve not yet had a coffee!” He said with wide, hopefully hazel eyes.

“Oh of course, I can’t imagine how you’ve survived this long! I always need about two coffee’s before I can even function in the morning.” I said with a soft chuckle and a welcoming expression on my face. Or at least, I hope it came off as welcoming; the last thing I wanted to do was give the impression that I didn’t want to help them. “What can I get you Mr. Flemming?

“A flat white will be perfect, thanks.” He grinned, the look of relief on his face. “And please, call me by my first name.” His smile was warming and it was enough to make me instantly like him. Just like the other man, he seemed kind.

“Okay, William.” I grinned as I corrected myself and then turned my attention back to the other man, Nathaniel Mackenzie. “And what can I get you, Nathaniel?”

He looked at me for a moment, pondering the question before finally making a decision. “A cup of tea will do just fine, thank you very much.” And like that, I had my first job… and a chance to escape for a moment and have a much needed coffee break. I already needed a moment to digest what had happened and get over the fact that two of my favourite actors of the moment had been in the same room as me.


Belle’s POV

Introductions continued


Stood at my desk, I took a look at the sketches I had completed for both Nate and William’s costumes; the first costumes they would wear in the film. After taking once last look at them and taking a deep breath, I walked over to where the two actors were seated. I forced a casual, soft smile on my lips, trying to remain calm, now alone in the room with two rich and powerful people.

“So, these will be the suits you’ll wear for the opening scene. I have the material sample of the jackets here too...” I spoke softly as I sat opposite the two men, the designs now on the coffee table between us. I placed down the swatches and bit on my lip, watching as they looked over the designs. “Of course, I haven’t started creating them yet because I need to get your measurements. It won’t take too long, so you don’t have to worry about waiting around here for hours on end.” I paused again, my eyes moving across their faces as I looked for any tell tale signs about what they thought. No matter how popular my work would become, I would always cling to the fear that I wasn’t good enough, so naturally nerves always kicked in at this point. “If you want any changes made it’d be better to say so now. I mean, once the costumes are made, things can still be altered but it’d be easier now.” I smiled softly, fidgeting a little with my hands, thumbs twiddling.

“They look incredible; I can’t wait to see them once they’re done!” Nate grinned and I got the sense that his kind hearted personality wasn’t just some front he put on for fans; the guy I saw in interviews was exactly the guy stood here before me. Genuine.

“I’m honestly amazing at how well you’ve done this. As Nate said, it’ll be great once they’re actually complete and we’re trying them on.” William joined in with more praise and upon hearing such kind words from a man such as him, a man I admired a whole lot… well, it just meant everything to me. I felt butterflies in my stomach; butterflies I somehow managed to suppress.

“Thank you so much. You have no idea how much that means, especially coming from two incredible successful people such as yourselves. I mean, I’m only really putting Mr. Miller’s ideas into action.” I shrugged a little, pulling my typical move of dulling down people’s expectations in order to keep myself humble.

“Typical artist, subtly putting down your work. You’ve got no need to, honestly, these costumes are amazing and from what I’ve seen of your work on Broadway, I can easily say this isn’t your first time creating something incredible.” William cut in again and his smile was so wide and honest that I couldn’t help but smile back, even blush a little bit.

“Well again, thank you so much. It really does mean a lot to me.”

“If it means you’ll believe in your work then we’ll keep up the compliments.” Nate chuckled and my smile could not be removed. They really were both as charming as they’d seen from afar. I’ll admit, I still felt a little star struck. Simply being in front of both of these men was making my heart race. In a way, I almost wished Poppy would hurry back just so the focus could ease off of myself a little; just for a second so I could catch my breath again.

After a moment, I stood up and stepped towards my desk, picking up all the necessary equipment to take the guys measurements. And as if by miracle, Poppy soon came stumbling into the room. She stepped towards me with a bright smile and hand me my cup of much needed tea and I brined as a form of thank you. After taking a sip, I watched as she handed Nate and William their drinks and noticed how her fingers so delicately brushed with Nate’s as she made the exchange. I tried to keep myself from giggling as I knew for a fact, that’d make her heart pound. I soon stepped towards the three of them, interrupting their small talk about the movie.

“Who wants to go first then?” I asked with a light smile and watched as both men looked at each other. Nate stretched out, relaxing more into the sofa.

“All yours Ben, I’m perfectly comfortable here.” He smirked up at him as William stood.

“Too lazy is more like it.” He countered and picked up his drink, following me over to the podium area where I could take measurements. I looked briefly to Poppy who seemed more than content where she was, even if I could see the slight shake to her hands as she set her drink down.

“Okay then William, if you would like to hold your arms out-”

“Please, just call me Will. It's much more relaxed.” He gave a gentle, but playful smile.

“Okay...Will.” I chuckled, which caused him to grin too. “Raise your arms out from your sides and I'll begin.” He did precisely what I asked without question of complaint; something that was a pretty big deal in all honesty. I was so used, and also so sick of actors prancing around like they were royalty. Diva's were the worst. But Will was nothing if not a gentlemen. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of instructing such a good looking guy, having him do exactly as I asked. I smirked to myself a little then shook away any unprofessional thoughts.


The next hour was full of small talk and light humour as I worked and Poppy did a great job of hosting and helping out.

“So Poppy, I take it you don't always work as Belle's personal lackey?” Nate asked a little while into the afternoon while Poppy was tidying up my desk a little.

“Oh no, I'm actually a radio host, but primarily I'm a journalist. I used to actually write for The Guardian, free-lance of course. But I had to give it up for a more permanent job, one that's going to let me pay my way through acting school.” I noticed Poppy begin to trail off towards the end, no doubt assuming she'd shared too much. She had a habit of not talking about herself too much, and when she did she always felt it was too far. She held a glass of cranberry juice in her hands, swirling around the last little bit of it as she shifted from one foot to another. “I uh...well you see that's always been my passion. But it's taken me this long to believe in it all enough to actually follow it through.” She laughed, then shrugged it off before turning to set her glass down after she swigged back the last of it. Nate, who was stood in front of me as I took the last of his measurements, looked to Poppy with an amused expression, one of a genuine interest.

“Well it's good you finally found the self belief. There's never any sense in wasting talent, which I'm guessing you must have if you're serious about acting school.”

“I guess... I think even now I'm still a little nervous that it all might fail and be for nothing.” Poppy sighed but then shook her head. “But, whatever. Rather try and fail, then have avoided it and never known.”

“Exactly, it's best to know. But honestly, you should have more faith in yourself. Talent is mostly from confidence. If you believe you can make it, you will because you'll be willing to put in the effort.” Nate smiled at her and it seemed they both had this instant connection, something real to talk about that wasn't just general chit-chat.

“I keep telling her to have more faith in herself!” I laughed as I brushed off Nate's shoulder, straightening out the shirt he was wearing.

“Oh you should like my mother!” Poppy groaned, rolling her eyes.

“And you sound like a whiny daughter.” I winked at her before turning back to Nate. I then took a step back, allowing him the space to step down off the platform he'd been stood on. After a moment of fidgeting around and getting comfortable again, Will spoke up.

“Well I can honestly say today has been more fun than I thought it'd be. Usually this things are so long and boring, but Belle... I really look forward to seeing you a lot more over the course of this film. And I look forward to seeing the no doubt amazing costumes you'll create!” He charmed, wearing a dashing, teeth showing smile.

“Please! Stop with the compliments now!” I chuckled, nudging him a little as I walked past him, over to the seating area where he and Nate now were.

“Maybe if you promise me you'll start believing it when people tell you you work is good, then I'll consider stopping.” He winked, throwing me a cheeky smile.

“Fine, fine! Whatever it takes to shut you up.” I joked, but inside I felt deeply thankful for his kind words.

“Good.” He said simply with a winning smile.

He and Nate now stood, prepared to leave. “Our ride will be here in about ten minutes.” Said Nate as he looked at his watch. “It was really nice to meet you both and I certainly hope to see you both again very soon.” Nate's charming nature couldn't really be beaten. I saw Poppy stood behind him and tried my best not to laugh as I saw her completely melt, swooning and everything! But of course, the moment they turned to walk past her, she gathered her composure and grabbed their coats from the stand.

“I can promise you, the pleasure was all ours.” She complimented and I just shook my head at her, smiling lightly.

Today had been a really, really good day.



Submitted: April 27, 2015

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