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“So,” Quinn said as she settled into the backseat of the cab with Mikey, yawning widely as she did so. “Tell me what you know about Alex Anders”.

Quinn stayed up way later than she should, but she couldn’t stop thinking about Alex. Images of the woman gliding across the stage so effortlessly as Blanche, stealing every scene she was in with her expressive face and raw emotions flitted across her eyelids every time she closed them.

But the main thing she couldn’t stop wondering is why the woman was a managing director Off-Broadway when she clearly has the talent to be on a stage anywhere she wants.

“Not much, though she’s been easy to work with so far. A bit intense and serious, which makes sense I guess considering her pedigree.”

“Pedigree? She’s not a dog Mikey.”

“It’s a thing here on the East Coast Quinn. As I understand it, the Anders are royalty here. And not just within the theater scene. Simon Anders’ grandfather comes from old New York money. She seems to take that legacy seriously.”

“She sounds super fun,” Quinn quipped back.

“She doesn’t need to be. She just needs to be good at her job.”

“Too bad you’re gay. A serious and intense woman who takes her job too seriously sounds like a match made in heaven for you.”

Mikey smirked at that. He knew Quinn’s teasing wasn’t mean spirited.

“Well as elusive as Ms. Anders may be, I have heard through the gay grapevine here in town that she’s family.” He uncharacteristically waggled his eyebrows at her.

Quinn held up a finger. “First of all, I want to know more about this gay grapevine. I never got the memo about that in my coming out welcome package.”

“It’s more for us queens, love.”

“That feels lesbi-phobic not to share the vine, but whatever. Secondly, how and why have you been hearing things about Alex Anders?”

“Don’t forget I’ve been spending many a week here securing this precious deal for you. One of my east coast gentleman callers is a producer on Broadway with Simon. He happened to mention that Ms. Anders is quite the lady killer about town.”

Quinn gasped and grabbed Mikey’s arm. “You never mentioned any producer! Now I have questions.”

“I don’t feel the need to tell you about every dalliance like you do. It was brief, not important,” he waved his hand in the air to dismiss the topic. “Next question better be quick. We’ll be there soon.”

“Don’t pretend you don’t love stories of my sexual escapades.”

“I assure you, I don’t.”

“Not even the story of the girl with the sticky fingers from the ice cream cone who—”

Mikey cut her off before she could say anything more. “Quinn! Stop. Gross. No.”

She couldn’t help but laugh at his discomfort. The truth was Mikey dated much more than Quinn ever did or could. After the Jenna scandal it became harder to just meet women casually and not have them look up everything about her online.

The book release didn’t help in that regard. Time spent with women now was much more casual—usually short affairs with other models she knew well and that mainly revolved around sex.

“Don’t be such a prude, Mikey.”

As their taxi made its way down the congested morning traffic, she questioned their decision to not just walk. She turned to suggest it to Mikey when she caught him staring at her quietly, an amused look on his usually expressionless face. She hated when he did that. He could always read her way too well.

“What?” She asked.

“Why so curious about her anyway?”

“About who?”

Quinn knew she couldn’t play dumb with Mikey, but she also wasn’t about to admit she was mainly asking because she watched almost two hours of the woman perform the night before.

“The only person we’ve talked about on this ride.”

The amused expression didn’t leave his face as he continued to stare at Quinn.

“She holds our future in her hands. Of course I’m curious.”

Mikey didn’t reply, but simply hummed under his breath at her response. Luckily, it was that moment that their cab slowed in front of the theater on 52nd.

Quinn got out of the car while Mikey dealt with payment and looked up at the building telling herself that the butterflies that just erupted in her stomach had everything to do with this new step for her career and nothing to do with the sexy blonde she was about to meet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The lobby of the theater was larger than Quinn expected. There were three entrances to her left that took audiences into the theater with an area for merchandise nestled in between the entrances.

To the far right of the expansive room were two winding staircases that led up to what she assumed was the theater’s balcony. The carpet that wound its way through the lobby and up the staircases was a deep red that reminded her of the Golden Age of Broadway, even though it was clearly somewhat new.

While beautiful inside, the building was not modern. She could see intricate designs leading illegal bahis all the way up the wooden railings on the staircase. The whole room had a feel of modern upkeep and historic elegance.

She had seen images of the space in photos—in fact that was one of the main reasons she chose it. She wanted to feel like she was working in the theater, not like she was just on another set which so many of the modern theaters felt like.

Horizon obviously took care to maintain their space, but it was also obvious a lot of care went into honoring the past.

“Wait until you see the theater itself,” Mikey murmured as he came up next to her shoulder.

“It’s beautiful” she replied quietly, continuing to look around.

“I’m so glad you think so.”

A confident voice joined them from behind, making her spin around at the noise. A woman had suddenly come out of a door to the right of the lobby that said “Staff” across it.

Quinn’s tongue suddenly felt heavy as she looked at the stranger in front of her. Well, technically a stranger but Quinn recognized her face immediately from the videos she watched all last night.

That college production was more than ten years ago, but the woman in front of her didn’t look like she had aged at all. A spark of surprised amusement shone in the woman’s eyes as she seemed to take in Quinn’s lingering gaze.

“Ms. Collins, Mr. Rubio, I’m so happy to have you here.” She reached out her hand to Mikey first but kept her eyes locked on Quinn’s as she did.

Quinn internally sighed in relief when her body seemed to be able to do more than her mouth and she reached out to take the woman’s offered hand.

“Ms. Anders the pleasure is all ours. But please, it’s Mikey,” he gestured to himself, “and Quinn,” he gestured to the still silent brunette.

“Actually, I quite like the sound of Ms. Collins. It makes me feel sexy and mature,” Quinn blurted out before mentally face palming herself.

How was that the first thing she thought to say to this woman?

To her surprise though Alex simply gave her a small smile. The woman’s easy confidence made Quinn fidget a bit.

“I assure you, you can call her Quinn,” Mikey said giving Quinn a quick look that implied she was acting odd.

The woman continued to smile at Quinn, not even glancing back at Mikey.

“And I can assure you Quinn that you look mature and sexy from here,” Alex said to her before turning back to Mikey. “And please, call me Alex. Why don’t you both come with me and we can sit down in my office?”

Without waiting for an answer, Alex turned and went back to the door she came through.

Mikey leaned in close to Quinn’s ear. “What is wrong with you?”

Quinn just shrugged. She knew exactly what was wrong with her and it was swaying its hips ten feet in front of them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That was stupid, Alex told herself as she opened the door to her office for Mikey and Quinn to enter. Flirting with the woman two minutes after meeting her was definitely not keeping things professional and friendly. And in front of her manager no less. But she also wasn’t prepared for just how beautiful Quinn was in person.

Even more so than she was on stage or splashed across magazine covers. Quinn was simply perfect. She almost reminded Alex of a prima ballerina with her long limbs, high cheek bones and pale composure.

Her eyes were such a dark brown they almost looked black. Alex knew she had been staring, but those eyes had captured her attention and she had trouble looking away from them.

Quinn’s delicate features provided an interesting dichotomy to the brashness with which she performed and the casual ease she seemed to carry herself with here.

Alex had an insane urge to know more about her that had nothing to do with the spark she felt as their skin touched in that handshake. Well, maybe she could admit it had a little something to do with that.

“I thought I could start by giving Quinn a tour of the space. I have a handful of paperwork for you to go through Mikey, so I can take you to our conference room to finish that. And then we can figure out the final rehearsal schedule. As I understand it Diego will be here by the 15th to start with you?”

Part of Quinn’s contract negotiation was that she got to choose her own director. Luckily, Diego Ruiz was the man ultimately chosen for the job and he was a familiar face around town.

Alex knew he would protect the integrity of Quinn’s original work while also tightening it for the more experienced New York audiences. It’s why she had subtly mentioned him to Mikey a few months prior when she had given him a list of Horizon-approved directors.

Mikey jumped in eagerly while Quinn sat back and distractedly looked around the office, settling her gaze intently on the poster hanging on the wall behind Alex’s desk. Alex glanced up at the poster before looking back at the look on Quinn’s face that she wasn’t able to illegal bahis siteleri read.

She moved her eyes back to Mikey and did her best not to focus on Quinn.

“Yes, Diego gets here on the 15th and we start with him on the 20th. That gives Quinn time to settle into the city before rehearsals begin,” Mikey said.

Hearing her name caused Quinn’s intent gaze on the poster to suddenly snap to Alex.

“Do you know of a good bagel shop?” she asked.

The sudden question wasn’t what Alex was expecting.

“Uh, bagel shop?”

Quinn leaned forward and looked directly at Alex with a small smile playing on her lips. “New York is famous for them. I figured it would be good to know of some around here since this is my new neighborhood and all.”

Alex stared dumbly at the woman for a moment before answering. Whatever she was expecting the cool, chic model to be like, this child-like, playful woman asking about bagels wasn’t it.

“George’s. Down two blocks on 50th. Yellow awning out front. His are the best,” Alex replied.

There was a silent pause before Mikey decided to get things back on track after Quinn’s random question.

“Point me to the conference room and I’ll dig in while Quinn checks out the theater.”

“Great. Let’s go to the rehearsal rooms first,” Alex said to Quinn.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“This is our rehearsal space and you and Diego will spend most of your time in here,” Alex said as she pushed open a door to a hallway that connected to backstage.

As she led Quinn down the hallway, she realized they were alone, alone. The current rehearsal must still be going because the halls were absent of the usual shuffle of actors and techies.

She silently led Quinn down the hallway until they were at a door, which she opened to allow Quinn to step in.

“We have five different rehearsal rooms of various sizes. Each map out to mirror the stage floor and your rehearsal schedule will specify which room you’re in each day. Most likely you’ll be in the same room for each rehearsal for consistency, but sometimes things have to shift.”

Alex watched as Quinn quietly walked around the room. Without Mikey’s presence or any other prying eyes, she was able to take in the woman a bit more without feeling creepy.

She was dressed more casually than Alex’s own skirt and blouse. Sporting black skinny jeans that seemed sculpted to her body and a light grey pull over hoodie, Quinn somehow made overly casual look stunning. Kind of like in one of those magazines that tries to make normal people feel like they can relate to beautiful celebrities. “Stars! They’re just like us! They wear jeans!”

After looking around the room, Quinn finally turned to Alex. “But this is just a room.”

Alex’s confusion showed on her face. “Well yes, it’s a rehearsal room.”

“Exactly. It’s not the stage.” Quinn took a step closer to Alex as she spoke.

“All of our productions use the rehearsal space until it’s time to move into the theater. We have other shows before yours,” Alex spoke slowly as if to a child. She was still confused as to what Quinn’s issue was.

“I need the stage to inspire my art.”

Quinn stepped closer again.

Alex was at a loss for words. She really didn’t think the conversation would veer this way and really hadn’t pegged Quinn for the diva type. But before she could answer, Quinn burst into laughter.

“I’m so kidding. This room is great. But you really should have seen your face. You looked like you wanted to hit me.”

“I’m not in the habit of hitting our artists,” Alex said. “Unless they ask me to of course.”

She immediately regretted adding that last part, especially when she saw the quick spark of surprise cross Quinn’s features. She really needed to get herself under control, but Quinn was nothing like she imagined. She had a goofiness to her that surprised Alex.

“But you do if they ask?”

Quinn was somehow standing in front of her now. Alex didn’t even notice the model advance that far into her personal space.

She could feel a slight heat coming from Quinn’s body, which if she had reached out her finger, she could have touched.

“Only if they ask nicely,” she said back in a low voice.

The air around them felt thick as Quinn leaned closer. She had to put a stop to the blatant flirtation happening here. This would lead to nothing advisable. She needed to focus on the prize at the end of the season. Not that look in Quinn’s eyes. Was it desire?

Before she said anything else that she would regret later she stepped back, putting some much-needed distance between the two of them.

“Let’s keep going.”

She turned and walked to the door, leaving Quinn with the same clouded look in her eyes.

Alex took a breath as soon as they were back in the hallway. Rehearsal for the fall show must have just gotten out since the hallway was peppered with actors laughing and horsing around canlı bahis siteleri with each other. The noise in the hallway steadily increased as more people filed out of the room at the back of the hall.

Quinn’s eyes widened at the scene and she smiled as she joined Alex in the hallway. Alex knew the feeling—there was nothing like the bustle of backstage.

Actors were one-of-a-kind and it was easy to create a family with your cast. Before she could guide Quinn back down the hall, she heard her name being called from the other direction.

Alex turned and internally groaned as she saw her best friend bounding down the hall to them from her own rehearsal room.

Wearing simple black leggings and an oversized t-shirt, her red hair was thrown up messily in a bun on top of her head, but the hairband was doing a poor job of containing her wild curls.

She gave Alex a sweaty kiss on the cheek as she arrived at her side, pushing in to avoid getting hit by the rush of people going past.

“Ugh Court, you’re gross.” Alex pushed the sweaty girl off of her and wiped her now wet face.

“Get over yourself Anders and introduce my to your friend. Hi, I’m Courtney.”

Courtney turned to Quinn and gave her the smile that had melted more than one heart in NYC. Quinn took the outstretched hand, apparently not as bothered as Alex as by the sweat pouring off her friend.

“Quinn Collins, nice to meet you.”

“I heard you’d be joining us. It’s all little Alex here has been able to talk about.” She flashed Alex a devilish smile as she looked back to Quinn. “Welcome to the Horizon family.”

Alex sent Courtney a death stare she hoped Quinn didn’t catch before schooling her face. Courtney would pay for that one later.

Thankfully Quinn didn’t even look at Alex’s now red face as she replied to the red head. “I’m really excited to be here. Are you in the fall show?”

“Yep. Because nothing says exciting live theater like the ever progressive and modern Arthur Miller.” She rolled her eyes dramatically.

Alex smirked at the sentiment she had heard come out of her friend’s mouth more than once. Courtney knew exactly who had decided to do Death of a Salesman as their fall show. Rick Weston, their (hopefully) soon to be retired Executive Director. Alex agreed with Courtney on it. It was a tired play that held no room for newness.

“Then you’re saying I should drink before seeingthis one?” Quinn joked back.

Courtney sighed, “If only we actors got to partake as well.”

“Like you don’t have a flask backstage with you at all times,” Alex teased.

Ignoring her, Courtney turned back to Quinn, “Speaking of! We’re all heading to The Library tonight to celebrate the end of rehearsals before tech week. It’s a bar. You should come. You’ll love the cast. I promise we’re more fun than this sour puss,” she gestured towards Alex with her head.

“She is awfully serious.” Quinn smiled as she finally looked over at Alex.

Courtney laughed at that and swung her arm around Alex’s shoulder in a friendly gesture. She pointed to Quinn. “I like this one. You can keep her.”

“Court.” Alex replied in a tone that was meant as a warning.

She had to get Quinn away from the train wreck that is her best friend before anything else flies out of her unwieldy mouth or any more invitations were given out.

“Let me guess.” Quinn looked at Alex with a challenging quirk of her eyebrow. “You don’t mix and mingle with actors.”

Alex shot Courtney another warning glance when her friend broke out into a laugh. “Oh, she mingles with actors, just not the ones within these walls.”

Quinn’s eyebrows shot up into her hairline at Courtney’s revealing comment and at this moment Alex was regretting not running the moment she had heard Courtney call her name.

She wasn’t going to rise to Courtney’s obvious bait though and wanted to wipe the smug, knowing look off both their faces.

She turned back to Quinn and said in a challenging tone, “Actually, I was planning on being there tonight.”

“Really? You seem more of the go home and relax alone with a glass of wine type. Maybe play some chess. Not the party with your cast type.”

“Well Quinn, I’d argue you don’t know me enough to make those assumptions. I hate wine.”

Alex could feel the same thickness seep into the air around them as it did in the rehearsal room. What should have been some friendly banter suddenly felt like foreplay.

For a moment the two maintained eye contact and Alex almost forgot Courtney was there. When she finally broke away from Quinn’s amused eyes, she saw Courtney smiling and looking between them like she was watching a movie.

“Well that’s settled then. You’ll both be there. Tonight. At 8. Phone?” Courtney opened her hand to Quinn, palm up.

Quinn quickly reached into her back pocket and handed Courtney her phone.

Nobody spoke as Courtney added herself as a contact to Quinn’s phone, but Alex’s stomach was doing loops at the recent development. Seeing Quinn later, especially in a bar, was not how she thought this day would end.

“K, now you have my number in case anything changes. Oh, and I added Alex’s in there too.” She winked as she handed Quinn back her phone.

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