Read Twin spins! Online

Authors: Sienna Mercer

Twin spins! (page 2)

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Ivy made a sour face. Amy Teller was Jackson’s manager and the chances of her letting a top star like Jackson take a break from a press tour were practically zilch.

‘Hi, guys!’

Olivia beamed as she spotted Brendan and Sophia fighting their way through the crowd.

‘Pardon you!’ Charlotte jumped out of the way of Sophia. ‘Watch where your chunky boots are clomping!’ Katie made a big show of pulling Charlotte to safety as Olivia looked on, shaking her head.Perhaps Charlotte should save some theatrics for her yearbook film.

The chopsticks pinning Ivy’s hair in place nearly poked Olivia’s eye out as she spun to greet their friends. Her slender arms wrapped around Brendan’s neck, pulling him into a big hug. From the look on Brendan’s face, Olivia reckoned he couldn’t be happier. She remembered when she first came to Franklin Grove, and Ivy had announced with such despair, ‘I’m utterly in love with Brendan Daniels.’And look at them now!

‘We thought you were hiding from us,’ Brendan joked, running a hand through his hair. It was usually shoulder-length, but had been cut shorter and shaggy last week.

‘No,’ said Ivy, craning up to look at her boyfriend. ‘We’re just vertically challenged.’

‘We were just discussing the dance,’ Olivia explained to Sophia.

‘Dance?’ Sophia’s eyes glittered.

‘You-know-who spilled the beans.’ Olivia hiked her thumb over her shoulder at Charlotte, whose head jerked up as if she could sense someone talking about her.

Ivy gently punched her sister. ‘Olivia!’

Her twin smacked a hand over her mouth, eyes wide. ‘And I’ve just done the same thing! You guys, I’m so sorry.’

Brendan was gazing at Ivy, a smile forming on his lips. ‘It’s OK. Sounds like good news to me.’

Ivy snorted. ‘Yeah, I’m sure you’re just itching to put on a fancy suit and waltz around the assembly hall!’

Brendan’s smile faded. ‘But –’

Sophia clapped her hands. ‘I’m not disappointed. I have a dress I’ve been dying to wear!’

Olivia crossed her fingers. ‘I just hope Jackson can make it back in time!’

Ivy tilted her head. ‘But won’t you be filming on set by the end of the summer?’

Olivia felt like smacking herself square in the forehead. ‘You’re right!’ she squealed.

The crush of students must have been squeezing her brain. How could she forget? She’d only been looking forward to filmingEternal Sunsetevery day since she’d got the part! As soon as Jackson’s press tour ended, the two of them were due to start work on a new film together.

‘I guess neither of us will make it, then,’ Olivia sighed. ‘Shame. It would have been almost as much fun as when we all went to the Transylvanian ball together.’ She lowered her voice and leaned towards Ivy. ‘Without quite so many vampires!’

‘And with way more bunnies,’ Ivy pointed out.

‘And more pink.’

Ivy scrunched her nose. ‘So basically you’re saying there’s no way the Franklin Grove dance could be as amazing as the Transylvanian ball?’

‘Come on.’ Olivia nudged Ivy. ‘I bet there’s someone who would love to call you his date to the dance.’ Olivia nodded at Brendan, who was chatting with Sophia.

Ivy blushed, glancing away. ‘I just feel sorry for whoever gets stuck organising this year,’ she stammered. ‘I’d rather be zombified than worry about colour palettes and dance themes.Sonot my thing.’

‘Oh!’ Olivia hopped up and down, pointing at the front of the assembly hall. ‘It’s Principal Whitehead. Look! Look!’

Their principal stepped up to the small podium and the hall went quiet.

‘Good morning, Franklin Grove,’ he said, and cleared his throat. He fumbled with a few sheets of paper. ‘I have a special announcement. As you may have heard . . .’ The principal paused, making Olivia wonder if he shared her love of the dramatic. She had learned a thing or two about theatrical timing during her hours on set. At last, he spoke. ‘We are going to have a school dance.’

Principal Whitehead held up his hand. ‘One more thing.’ The crowd was buzzing, so he lowered his mouth closer to the microphone. ‘The big date for the school dance has already been decided and it is . . . next Friday!’

‘Next Friday!’ Charlotte shrieked. Everyone went mad. Girls grabbed their friends, jumping up and down on the spot. Boys shared alarmed glances – who would they invite to be their dates, with only a week to decide?

‘Hold it, hold it.’ Principal Whitehead held up his hand until the crowd settled. ‘The date has been pushed forward because of essential renovations to the school building. You should also know that the school board has decided to increase security ever since some unsavoury paparazzi were found lurking in the vicinity.’ Olivia felt her cheeks flush. Their principal was talking about the photographers who’d been chasing Jackson around. He’d come to study at Franklin Grove and to be close to Olivia. That was then, but where was he now? Out on his promotional tour. Olivia tried to ignore the tightening in her chest.

The hall was filled with bunny-mania as the principal walked back to his office. Olivia and Sophia cheered along with everyone else, while Charlotte attempted to yell over the crowd, ‘I knew it!’ Even though the announcement hadn’t been a surprise, it was still exciting. Olivia would need a new outfit and a new shade of shimmery eyeshadow and –oh!– she hoped Ivy would go shopping with her.

‘How will I find a dress in time?’ Katie cried.

Charlotte already had her mobile glued to one ear. ‘Yes, this is an emergency,’ she stressed into the receiver. ‘No, I’ll need a cut, a blow-dry, a manicureanda pedicure.’ She cupped her hand over half the phone and mouthed to Katie, ‘My tan!’ Her eyes shot skywards and she flipped shut the mobile. ‘Girls,’ she called to anyone who was listening, ‘to the beach!’

Katie looked around as if her friend had gone completely insane. ‘What beach? We’re hundreds of miles from the coast.’

Charlotte seemed to teeter on the edge of a breakdown. ‘Um . . . strappy sandals . . . cocoa butter . . . I don’t know! Let’s just go!’

She rushed off, following the rest of the crowd as they left the hall. At last Olivia could breathe. Her eyes locked with a girl from her grade, Jenny, who scurried over, several big ring-binders pressed close to her chest.

‘Hi, Olivia. I was wondering . . .’ She ground the toe of her shoe into the floor. ‘Would you like to be involved in planning the dance? You could even be chairperson if you wanted. You’d be great at it!’

Wow! Olivia hadn’t so much as applied and she was being offered a lead position.

‘What does a chairperson do, exactly?’ asked Ivy, frowning at the piles of folders the girl was clutching.

‘Chooses decorations, discusses colour schemes, themes, music and agrees it all with the principal. It’s a very important position.’ She waved her hand through the air. ‘We have to turn all this into a dance hall by next Friday!’

Ivy shuddered. ‘Not my idea of fun.’

But Olivia was already picturing the perfect centrepieces and hundreds of lights sparkling over the dance floor.

‘So, do you want to?’ Jenny asked, bobbing on the balls of her feet.

‘What about your film?’ Ivy whispered out of the side of her mouth. Olivia’s visions of a romantic dance disappeared into thin air.

‘I’m sorry.’ And she genuinely was. ‘But I’ll be too busy learning lines for my film role.’

‘OK.’ Jenny nodded slowly, her shoulders sagging. ‘I understand. Thanks anyway.’ Olivia felt a twinge of guilt as Jenny pushed her way through the other students. But this was going to be her big break. She needed to give it her all, and that meant rehearsing and re-rehearsing until she knew her lines better than she knew her own name!

As the four friends were making their way out of the hall, Olivia felt the phone in her pocket vibrate again. She slipped it out of her jeans and touched the flashing message to open it. The message was from Jacob Harker, the studio head giving Olivia her shot at Hollywood:Olivia, my rising star, we need to catch up. Stuff ’s going down. Call the office. 818-350-4917.

Olivia tugged at her sister’s elbow, pulling her to a stop. ‘Harker wants me to call him.’

Ivy read the message over Olivia’s shoulder. ‘Even for a V, that guy’s a little kooky. Shouldn’t he have, like, a whole squad of minions taking his calls and sending his memos? At least that’s what I would do if I was that powerful.’

‘Well, then, let’s hope you’re never that powerful,’ Olivia teased. ‘You’d be a slave-driver!’

‘Hey!’ Ivy dropped her chin and tried to shoot Olivia a death stare, but instead burst into laughter.

Olivia’s stomach flip-flopped as she punched the keys for Harker’s number. She couldn’t believe that she, Olivia Abbott, was calling the head of a major Hollywood movie studio. How cool was that?

After three rings, the sound of Harker’s drawling voice eased on to the line. ‘Duuuude, what’s up?’

Olivia didn’t know the proper response to that. ‘Nothing . . . er . . . man,’ she replied uncertainly, hoping it didn’t sound weird.

‘Bad news.’ Harker’s voice became grave.Oh no . . . Am I getting fired? Is Jackson OK?‘The Hollywood writers have gone on strike,’ he announced.

‘I’m sorry to hear that.’ Olivia tried to sound sympathetic, although she had no idea what this really meant.

‘No worries, my friend, but you’d better start watching reruns of your favourite shows, because it looks like it’s going to be a while before you get any new episodes.’

She hadn’t expected that. Olivia’s mouth went dry. ‘And movies?’

‘Kaput, too. With no one to write the scripts around here, we’re like bums on the beach. No choice but to relax and put everything on hold.’

Olivia stopped dead. ‘No more movie shoot?’ It felt as if a sumo wrestler had climbed aboard Olivia’s shoulders and taken a seat. She was crushed.

Ivy turned and shot her sister a worried look.

‘The movie shoot will still go forward – just a year later.’ Harker’s voice was silky on the other end of the phone. ‘Until then, we all just chill.’

Olivia couldn’t tell him that she had been counting down the days until she got to work with her boyfriend.

‘No problem,’ she fibbed, though her voice was wobbling and she knew how miserable she must look. At least Harker couldn’t see her down the phone line. ‘I’ll see you in a year!’ She ended the call and buried the phone in her pocket.

‘What’s wrong?’ Ivy rushed towards her. Sophia and Brendan crowded round, too.

Ivy squeezed her sister in a tight hug.

‘It’s bad,’ Olivia told them. ‘The writers are on strike and there’ll be no new movie shoots and no new television episodes until it’s over.’ She wanted to flop to the floor.

Ivy’s grip tightened so much that Olivia felt her eyes bugging. She could hardly breathe, her sister was hugging so hard.

‘Ivy!’ she yelped.

‘Does this mean there won’t be any new episodes ofShadowtown?’ Ivy asked through gritted teeth.Shadowtownwas a show about vampire teens, and Ivy’s new guilty pleasure. She never missed an episode. ‘How will I survive?’ She pulled away from Olivia.

‘Too bad,’ said Brendan, but even Olivia could tell he didn’t mean it. Ivy and Sophia both turned on him.

‘What?’

He held up his hands in surrender. ‘Personally, I think the show sucks. And not in a good way.’

This time Ivy did manage a death stare, and it was aimed straight at Brendan. ‘How could you say that aboutShadowtown? It’s only the best show ever. This is the end of the world.’ She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead and acted as though she would faint.

‘For you?’ Olivia interrupted. ‘My film is postponed!’ Not even Olivia could maintain a perky cheerleader image in the face of news this bad. ‘Jackson can’t come back from his promotional tour and summer holidays start today. What am I going to do? I was planning on being so busy learning my lines that I wouldn’t notice he was missing.’

Ivy twirled a loose strand of her hair. ‘You could get a hobby?’ she suggested.

Olivia drew a sharp breath. ‘That’s it! You’re a genius, Ivy. Hold on one second.’

‘Where are you going?’ called Ivy, as Olivia dashed back down the corridor.

‘I won’t be long. Don’t worry. I’ll meet you at the gate!’ She skidded around a corner and nearly collided with Jenny, who was shuffling along with her binders clasped against her chest. ‘Hey!’ Olivia panted. ‘I was looking for you.’

Jenny shifted the enormous folders in her arms. ‘You were?’

‘Yes. Do you still want me to help out?’

‘Oh my goodness!’ Jenny’s words came out in a rush. ‘Absolutely!’ She dumped the biggest binders on Olivia, who stumbled under the weight. ‘The first committee meeting is on Sunday.’ Jenny patted Olivia’s arm. ‘That should give you plenty of time to look those over. OK?’ Olivia opened her mouth, but Jenny didn’t wait to hear what she had to say. ‘Great, thank you!’

Olivia could barely hold the binder, it was so enormous. She felt herself start to tip, and before she could stop herself, she staggered on to a chair on one side of the corridor. She blinked. Jenny couldn’t get away from all that paperwork fast enough. She must havereallynot wanted to organise the dance. But, wait! Was that the sound of Jenny’s heels clacking on the floor? She must be coming back to help.

‘Oh, um, I nearly forgot.’ Jenny peered down at Olivia. ‘You’ll need this, too.’ She balanced a clipboard on top of Olivia’s pile. ‘See you Sunday!’

How utterly great. Olivia tried to stand back up, struggling to manage the tower of paperwork. The files slid from her grasp and white sheets spilled across the floor.

‘Stay there. That’s perfect!’

Huh?Olivia looked up to see a video-camera lens in front of her nose. ‘Charlotte, what are you doing?’

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