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"Great rehearsal, kids." Don Maneri, the director of Getting There, clapped his hands. "Take a lunch break and we'll meet back here at two."
"Hey, Ashley -- you're really good," Buddy Jones, said to me. "You're, like, a natural actress." He grabbed a muffin from the food table and chomped down on it.
"Thanks," I said. "You're good, too. Definitely 'natural.'"
Buddy was playing Toast in the movie. He looked the part, that was for sure. Buddy was tall and skinny, with large brown puppy-dog eyes and light brown hair. He wasn't too bad-looking, I thought -- just kind of rumpled. Slouchy. His hair stuck out in all directions, as if he'd just woken up from a nap. And just like Toast Buddy ate all the time. His stomach was like a bottomless pit.
"Do you want to have lunch together?" Buddy asked me.
"Umm ..." I started to answer, but Noah Atkins caught my eye as he left the room. My heart did a little flip. Noah played Sam in the movie, and he was totally gorgeous. He was tan from surfing all summer and his curly blond hair shimmered with hilights from the sun.
Mary-Kate is so lucky, I thought. She was playing Kylie Hunter, and I was cast as Taylor. In the movie, Sam has a wicked crush on Kylie. There's even a kissing scene! That meant Mary-Kate would get to kiss Noah.
I glanced at Mary-Kate. She was standing by the door talking to Delia Bishop, who played Lyndi.
"Hey, Ashley-are you okay?" Buddy drew my attention back to him. "Feel like having lunch with me?"
"Oh. Sorry, Buddy," I said. "Thanks, but my sister and I are grabbing sandwiches and going back to our room. We haven't unpacked oranything yet."
"That's cool." Buddy smiled at me. "See you in a couple of hours."
It was our first day on the set of the movie Getting There. Mary-Kate and I had dumped our stuff in our motel room early that morning. Then we hurried to a rehearsal, where we met the cast and crew for the first time.
Mary-Kate caught up with me as I headed for the Orangeview Motel. "Did you know Delia's going to CalTech in the fall?" she asked. "She wants to be a biochemist."
"That's funny." I unlocked the door to our room. "I never would have guessed she was such a brain. She does that spaced-out Lyndi thing so well."
Mary-Kate laughed. "That's why they call it 'acting.'"
We walked into our room and opened our suitcases. Though we were close to home, the entire cast and crew were staying at the Orangeview while we shot the California scenes. Later we were going to Las Vegas and Park City, Utah, to work on location.
Mary-Kate dumped the contents of her suitcase onto her bed. "How fabulous is this?" she said. "I mean, making this movie and everything. I can't believe how lucky we are to be here. And we're perfect for these parts! A movie about two sisters who turn sweet sixteen? It's just so excellent!"
I know," I agreed. "And we get to go to Las Vegas!"
"And Park City!" Mary-Kate added. "It's like going on vacation -- only it's part of our job!"
I grinned and high-fived her. "This totally rocks."
"So what do you think so far?" she asked me. "How do you like everybody?"
"They all seem pretty nice." I transfered a pile of neatly folded tops from my suitcase to a dresser drawer. "What do you think of Noah Atkins?"
"The guy who plays Sam?" Mary-Kate asked. "He's okay."
"Okay?" I sat on the bed and stared at her. "Did you see that smile? Because if you saw him smile and you think he's just okay, there's something wrong with you."
Mary-Kate laughed. "Okay, so he's totally cute. The next Brad Pitt. The trouble is, he knows it. And, anyway, I've got another guy on my mind."
"Jake," I said, thinking of her boyfriend, Jake Impenna. She'd hardly seen him all summer, and I knew she really missed him. "When is he getting here?"
"This afternoon," Mary-Kate replied. I can't wait! He's bringing his cousin Christina with him. She's moving here from New York."
I pulled a dress out of my suitcase and hung it in the closet. I never heard him mention a cousin before."
"He hasn't seen her in a few years," Mary-Kate told me. "But she's his favorite cousin. She's staying with his family while her mom gets settled. He was really excited when he told me about it. He says she's a lot of fun."
I lined my shoes up at the bottom of my closet. "I'm done," I said. I unwrapped the sandwich I'd grabbed from a food table on the set. I took a bite and dropped it on my nightstand. "Tuna. Yuck. Want to go downstairs and see what they have at the coffee shop?"
Mary-Kate was sorting through the pile of clothes on her bed, trying to organize it. "No thanks," she said. "I've got a lot to do here. And, anyway, I like tuna."
"Okay. See you later." I left the room and hurried downstairs to the restaurant attached to the Orangeview.
Some of the cast and crew were scattered throughout the restaurant in small groups. I spotted Noah sitting with Rachel Widmer, who played Jenn, and Kip Cusack, who played Danny. There was an empty seat at their table...Mary-Kate & Ashley Sweet 16 #4: Getting There. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.