A couple of weeks into shoot, David pulled her aside at the end of the day to talk. “Kristen, how old are you?”

She looked at him flatly, exhausted by the shoot and sweaty from the lights and entirely confused by his line of questioning. “Twelve. But you knew that when you hired me.”

“Twelve. Okay.” He bit his lip, then said, “Okay. So I’m hoping you’ll understand me when I say this: please stop looking at Jodie like you want to fuck her.”

Kristen recoiled a bit. “What?” She hadn’t been aware the’d been looking at anyone like she wanted to do anything to them. She kind of wanted to punch Jared in the face sometimes, just for being so goddam cute, but she really thought she’d been hiding it well.

“You and Jodie. The vibe you two are giving off is really fucking creepy. As a filmmaker, I love it, as somebody who’s responsible for the welfare of a twelve-year-old girl…”

She interrupted him. “David? I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He gave her a look. One of those ‘I’m older than you and I know what I’m talking about’ looks. It was a good thing he directed them at everybody, even Jodie, because otherwise Kristen would have punched him in the jaw for it. “Look, Kristen. I know it might not feel like it but I’m treating you like an adult here. Jodie’s pregnant and I don’t want to put the full load of this on her, because its both of you. Just try and change the vibe. You two are mother and daughter, so don’t forget that, okay?”

“Okay,” she said softly, feeling like a spoiled brat.

“Good. Now get to the makeup trailer and wash all that off. If you break out, you’re off the film.” He gave her one of his ‘just kidding’ smiles and chucked her beneath her chin, like they were in a movie from the forties or something, and she bared her teeth in something like a smile and went into the makeup trailer.

By the time she was finished washing her face, Jodie was in there, already scrubbed clean and dry. She smiled at Kristen, and Kristen smiled back, wondering for the first time if Jodie directed that sort of intensity at everyone, or if it was like David said—there was some sort of vibe between them.

“So,” Jodie said, “what’d David wanna talk about? That last scene?” She shook her head. “Fuck. I knew we should have reshot.”

Kristen considered making something up, just for a second, but something makes her say, clearly, “David told me to stop looking at you like I want to fuck you.”

Jodie’s eyes widened, just a little, but she’s a good actress in real life, too, not just on camera. “Really?”

Kristen had no idea what that meant.

Jodie just looked at her a minute, head cocked to the side, and then she beckoned Kristen closer. “C’mere.” Kristen walked over sort of slow, feeling very young next to Jodie, feeling like she was going to reprimanded for something she hadn’t even thought about before all this. All Jodie did, though, was take Kristen’s hand and place it on her stomach. “Feel that?”

Its just a little bulge, still, but Kristen swore she could feel the baby’s heartbeat. Or else just Jodie’s heartbeat, strong and rapid in her belly, beneath Kristen's hand. “Yeah,” she breathes, and Jodie’s hand comes up to cover hers.



Note:  Kristen is 12 years old. Yikes, I know.