Claire, Josh and I wait in the vintage director’s bungalow Alfred Hitchcock smoked endless cigars in as he dreamed up some of his most extraordinary films for Zelnick back in the day. I hear Bette’s voice commenting on the movie memorabilia that line the walls as she’s escorted down the hallway to meet us. When she enters the room I nervously glance at my watch. I should be back at our stage to help with any last minute details that come up for Byron or Sally.
”I know I’ve kept everyone waiting. I apologize, Tina. I had to stop by and tell Kit before she heard from everyone else. I know I’m cutting it close. But won’t Aaron drone on before it ever gets to us?”
”Of course, he will.” Claire and Josh stand up and shake my hand. ”Tina’s not that nervous. Are you, Tina? You know we have this well in hand. Your studio PR people sent out very nice invitations. Your movie will have buzz and a good crowd today.”
I smile stronger and happier than I feel back at everyone. ”Lots of moving parts, that’s all. I’m not producing this event so I’m just feeling nervous.”
Josh nods. ”I’d better be going. The presser starts in fifteen.”
As Josh leaves the room Bette looks back at her watch. ”Oh, I cut this closer than I thought.” Then to Claire. ”And I’m still not sure how that guy’s going to do what he’s promised to do, but I suppose we’re paying him well for it.”
”Bette, why did Joyce’s office courier over a big package ”For My Eyes Only” a little while ago?” I don’t sound agitated.
”Trusts and what have you for Angelica. I went to see Joyce about my mother. You asked me to make sure contact with her was safe.”
”Is she ill? Bette, I’m so sorry.” Claire says genuinely.
”Well, she has been in a kind of quarantine I guess you might say. I really can’t go into it. But no, nothing like ebola or some horror like that.”
”Bette, think of Josh as Claire’s Ringer, our ”Inside Man” into the Hollywood Press Corps.” I smile at her as she slides her arms around me. I hope she can’t feel how much I’m shaking .