“Maria, please talk to Jonathan Walsh. He can't leave the show like he owns it, he has a contract and he doesn't want to know what happens when you breach it,” Dean, Maria's best friend and secretary said in one breath as the red on her cheeks matched the one on her head.
“Why are you so flustered about it? He can't leave the show, it's just bluff for the papers or he's sick in the head. He'll go bankrupt paying for the damages.” This pulled a giggle from Dean.
Her skin had returned to the pale white Maria was used to.
“Alright, I'm ok now. Sorry about that; I was just really angry with the way he handles his things, he's so unreliable and unkempt.” Dean scrunched up her nose in disgust.
Maria laughed, squeezing her friends shoulders to relieve the tense muscles she found there.
“Keep doing that and I swear I'll leave my husband and wife for you.” Dean groaned when she touched a particularly sore spot.
Maria chuckled softly moving her hands from Dean's shoulders when Lilah walked in. She still loved those limbs on her body.
“I can see you've been stealing shoulder massages behind my back.” Lilah glared playfully at Maria as she kissed Dean.
Dean blushed a bright red when she looked at Lilah. Biting her lips guiltily, she eyed Maria for help.
Dean was married to Lilah and Ron, she didn't know how they worked it out and she wasn't sure she wanted to find out. They also had four kids and Maria thought at least, parenting for them would be fun.
“Nuh-uh, don't go looking at Maria. You're grounded for a week, let's see how you can work that out.” Lilah shushed Dean's gasp of dismay with her lips, she winked at Maria before she sashayed out the door.
“Where did I meet this woman?” Dean asked with her eyes still dazed and shooting a million love stars.
“From what you told me, it was a long night in Cuba, you all got drunk and decided to travel all the way to Utah To get married, because that was the only place where you could do it then you all decided to live happily ever after when you were sober again.” Sporting twinkling eyes and glossed lips, Maria mimicked Dean then said, “The end!”
“That's not how I look or sound you bitch.” Dean smacked Maria's arm with a file.
“Oh, I'm sorry. I can't blush at will like you-you know,” Maria teased, dodging the pen that was meant to bury itself in her head. Maria walked out of her room in search of Walsh.
Jonathan Walsh was an attractive man whose career had never had a downturn. The rumors of him leaving the show could affect the ratings greatly, but if there was one thing Maria was good at, it was winning the war. Walsh would be happy to be in a commercial by the time she was done with him.
She wasn't one of the most influential women in the industry by compromising for petty Actors/Actresses, she had few friends and very many enemies, in short words. Maria Rodriguez was not someone you could cross.
“Hello, Jon. How're you today?” Maria asked him when she found him touching up his makeup.
“Well, well, well... If it isn't the boss, to what do I owe this honor?” Jonathan looked at Maria briefly before going back to the magazine he was reading.
“Nothing much, Jon. I was just checking in on my staff, some rumors have been flying around so I'm taking it upon myself to run damage control.”
“What rumors would that be?” Jonathan asked, still not taking his eyes off the magazine.
The sneaky bastard!
If he wanted to get a rise out of her, she wouldn't take that bait. Breathing in slowly so as not to lose the smile she had plastered on her face, she regarded him coolly.
“You needn't worry about that, Jon. Justt make sure the ratings don't drop or you'll be the one with the problems.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Take it anyhow it pleases you. If you're out to get the paps after you then use other methods, do not jeopardize this show or anyone who works with this show, Jon.” Maria brushed invisible dust off her skirt before moving to talk with the rest of the cast.
Maria stayed on set to watch the progress of the scene airing that evening. Everyone had their A game on which she appreciated, no one had the time for retakes.
Dean walked round taking care of the minor problems. When Maria felt she had seen enough she waved at Dean and nodded to the rest of the off set team and moved out of their space so they would finally be able to breathe.
Locking her office door to block out the noise, Maria set out to finish what was left of the files on her table. She kept working until the day got darker and she could only hear a few people moving around.
“Hey, girl. Get your ass out of that chair, we're going to a club.” Dean hopped and bopped to the music only she could hear.
“I'm not in the mood for clubs, Dean. I just want to go home and relax, probably eat dinner and binge watch Wynonna earp.” Maria yawned into her palm not taking her eyes off the document she was reading.
“When did you become so old and boring? we used to hit 'em clubs back to back not leaving till I was drunk, you were always the sober one Mar.” Dean collapsed dramatically on the couch.
“Thank you for the key word 'you', I was always the sober one, I don't fancy clubs, Dean.”
“You're so stressed, you need to burn out all those excess stress cause it's stressing you out.”
“There was a lot of stress in that statement, Dean. You're not going to convince me to go with you.”
One long look and pouting later, Maria and Dean were surrounded by familiar loud bass and smell of booze.
Dean was already half way gone. Maria nuzzled a glass of sparkling water, while Dean gulped down the bottle of vodka in minutes–she was going to have a terrible hangover tomorrow.
Maria rubbed the bridge of her nose when Dean passed out on the counter. Ordering a cab before she went to the restroom, she dropped her purse on Dean's lap.
When she came back, there was no Dean and no purse. A frown creased her brows as she searched for her friend and rushed outside when there was no sign of Dean in the club.
“I'm sorry, did you see my friend leave?” Maria asked the bouncer at the door.
“Yes, ma'am. She got into the cab that just left.”
Maria turned just in time to watch the cab take the next bend.
Checking around for her purse and phone, she realized Dean must have taken it with her.
“Fuck you, Dean!”