I jerked my head up, and in the mirror’s reflection, I saw a man standing in the bathroom doorway. “Oh. Sure.” I straightened and turned around.
The stranger was considerably shorter than me, maybe five-foot-five, with a lithe build. He had dark-brown hair, cut and styled in a decidedly outdated fashion, but hell if I could pinpoint the decade in question. He had a beautiful jawline, cheekbones sharp enough to cut glass with, and head-to-toe wore turn-of-the-century clothing.
“You must be one of the show’s actors.” Fucking duh. “Unless suspenders and waistcoats are proper set attire.”
He cracked a smile. No teeth, but a cute, boyish smirk crossed his features.
“Grow a beard, and you’d fit right in with Davey at some purposefully divey bar in Williamsburg,” I added.
His smile grew at that, and he looked away momentarily, giving his shoes his undivided attention while collecting himself. “I am talent,” he agreed.
He brought his gaze up. “How so?”
I shrugged noncommittally. “I was hoping waistcoats were coming back.”
“Nothing like a man in a three-piece suit.”
“We all have our vices.”
My handsome stranger let the door fall shut behind him as he strolled across the bathroom. “You must be new.” He slid his hands into his trouser pockets.
Jesus. He looked so goddamn fine, it was practically criminal.
“What gave it away?” I asked, grinning broadly.
“I don’t know your name,” he answered.
“You make it a habit to learn everyone’s name?”
“I try to.”
I reached a hand out. “Rory Byrne.”
He removed his hand and accepted the shake. “A pleasure.”
“I suspect you have a name as well?”
The stranger flashed that lopsided smile again. “Sure.”
I leaned back against the sink, crossed my arms, and gave him another once-over. “You must be…what, about thirty? The most popular name for boys back then was…Michael, I believe.”
“I’m thirty-two,” he corrected coyly.
“Oh,” I said, as if it mattered. “It was still Michael.”
He laughed. “I’m afraid my parents used the census records from the 1880s to pick my name, not the 1980s.”
“Marion,” he answered.
“Marion,” I repeated, putting two and two together. “Marion Roosevelt?”
Shit. Playful conversation with a background extra was one thing, but the lead actor of the show? Although…he did initiate our dialogue, exactly as John had insisted. Keeping a line of communication open with Marion would help me feel out the rest of the cast, as well as crew members above me on the hierarchical ladder.
“Your surprise suggests we had a moment of authentic flirting in the men’s bathroom,” Marion stated.
“Ah. Yes, but I didn’t—”
“Contrary to what the paparazzi would have you believe about film stars, we’re just people who sometimes really hope to be treated normally.” He leaned forward a bit. “That includes being flirted with.”
“I’ll remember that.”
“Good.” Marion moved to the next sink over, turned on the tap, and began washing his hands. “Because you’re not half bad at it.”
“I’ve got the beginning part down pat.” I turned to watch him. “It’s the part that happens after where my luck tends to run out.”
“That’s relatable.” He shut off the water and grabbed a paper towel. Marion glanced at me, his brow furrowed a little, and he asked, “So how’s your ear?”
I instinctively reached up and touched the tender skin. “Agitated.”
“Some people have bad reactions to those surveillance pieces,” he said, inclining his head at the tube hanging over my shoulder. “Most crew members buy their own.”
“I’m still pretty green.”
Marion tossed the towel in the trash and stepped closer to examine my ear. He had big, expressive eyes. The actual sort that poets must have in mind when referring to them as windows to the soul. Belatedly, I took in that one eye was a very light green, and the other was actually a dark brown.
Marion must have sensed my staring. “What?”
“They’re very pretty.”
“They’re responsible for the contracts,” Marion said with a wink. “But luckily, I’m a package deal.”
I snorted. “Funny.”
“I am sometimes.” He took a step back. “I might be able to help with your ear.”
“I think I’m a bit too old for kisses on boo-boos.”
Marion gave me a direct look, the corner of his mouth upturned again. “In that case…come with me.” He walked to the door, opened it, and stepped into the corridor.
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