After the whole experience with the two girls, Eleanor had started noticing the divide between her and the rest of the crew. Whenever she walked up to a laughing group of people they would all suddenly stop and glance around sheepishly as if they had been caught swearing in church. Eleanor ignored it the first couple of times, but after it had happened a dozen or more times she started to feel hurt. Just because she was the director did not mean she was not fun. It did not mean that people should act serious and professional around her. Sure, she had the most power and influence around the place but that was not necessarily a good thing. In fact, as the weeks passed Eleanor was beginning to see it as more of a curse.
As a director, Eleanor had to be involved with her cast, but she was finding it more and more difficult as the barrier of formality got in the way. Time and time again Eleanor said ‘Please, call me Eleanor’ and every time they would uncomfortably agree but then reverted back to calling her ‘Ms Astolat’.
It seemed that the only person who actually called her by her first name was Russell.
She had been standing by the buffet, inspecting some very debatable looking sandwiches, when he had appeared next to her.
“How did you think that last scene went, Ms Astolat?” He asked pleasantly, looking handsome again in his knight costume.
“Please, call me Eleanor,” she insisted half-heartedly, more out of habit than anything else.
“Oh, sorry. How did you think that last scene went, Eleanor?” He asked again, her name rolling off his tongue pleasingly. Eleanor’s breath left her in a whoosh of air. He was the first person to actually use her last name without a trace of awkwardness, and he was even teasing her a bit. She could not help it; a smile bloomed on her lips.
“I think it went quite well, Mr Sterling,” Eleanor replied with delighted smile and was doubly pleased to see Russell give her an amused smile in return.
“Please, call me Russell.”
Eleanor blushed at this casual flirting but had enjoyed it none the less. After Russell began to call her by her first name she felt the connection between them grow and she wished to spend more and more time with him. Her body buzzed every time she was near him, whether it was by the buffet table again or when she was directing him in a scene. Russell often brought articles in for her to read, which featured either her or the film, and complimented her on her directing ability.
“No, seriously, you’re one of the best directors I’ve ever had!” He insisted, giving her arm a friendly squeeze, making her skin tingle. “I know that’s not saying much though, seeing as I’ve only worked at the Golden Treasure Theatre – which is one of the dodgiest theatres around, may I remind you – but I truly mean it!” He added with a deep chuckle. Eleanor joined in with his laughter, feeling elated that he thought she was a good director.
Russell thought she was a good director!
Her heart raced even at the mere memory of the compliment and of Russell’s cheerful smile and contagious laughter. Eleanor longed for the next day of shooting, wondering what Russell would look like or what she could say that would make him smile at her like she was the only one for him.