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Ugh, she should’ve worn something different. Something more sci-fi. She’s in jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt and some of her lowest heels, and the woman sitting next to her is wearing a catsuit. She looks good. She looks like the other actresses sitting here waiting to read for the leading lady part. Blonde. Cute. Petite. Claudia is none of those things. Why did her friend convince her to read for this part? She is not the type they are looking for. Her friend (the casting director, after all) assured her that the producers liked what they saw of her reading with actors for other roles on this show. They wanted her to audition for this part. She tries not to let a sigh escape. She’s tired. She’s shooting a movie and she didn’t have time to think about what to wear, and now she’s sitting next to a woman in a catsuit. Who looks good. But, she’s interested in this part, this show. It’s the biggest production that Australia’s seen, and so much money is going into the set and costumes, and it’s been what everyone talks about for months. So, she’s here. She wants to be a part of it, but she doesn’t want to be laughed out of the audition room. The door opens and the PA calls out some name, not hers. The catsuit gets up and walks to the door—she seems really confident. She has one of those perfect faces with a perfect nose and a petite frame with big boobs. She’ll probably get the part, she’s exactly what they’re looking for, some kind of Aryan-like type. Well, it never hurts to audition—just more experience for the next one, and maybe she can get the guest alien-of-the-week role. That would be good. Claudia looks down at the script and thinks some more about how she wants to play this part. Might as well give it her all.


He looks up as the next one walks through the door. Blonde, check. Blue eyes, check. Petite, check. Bigger chest than the last one, and she’s wearing a catsuit. Maybe trying too hard? He smiles and introduces himself. He can already see her appraising him. Damn, do all of the Aussie women just go around checking guys out? He kind of liked it at first, but everyone is so blatant, not everything has to be so out in the open. Ben asks her about some of the other work she’s done as they walk to the rehearsal room. They’ll run through the scene a couple of times (hopefully, only a couple, some of the other actresses that came in needed more) and then they’ll go put it on film. He has a lot of say in casting Aeryn, which is nice, but the producers get the final decision. He looks down at his list. Only a few more after this one. Then, hopefully they will have found her. They were going to cast a British actress, and then the money from that country disappeared, so they’re going with an Australian or American now. He knows the casting call went out for a blonde, blue-eyed, gymnast type, but they’re all starting to blend together. The catsuit asks if they can start. He says sure, let’s go.


The PA calls her name. She’s surprised at how nervous she is when she stands up. She takes a big breath, blows it out, throws her hair back and smiles. She’s an actress, she can act like she’s confident about getting this part. She walks through the door and just stops. He has really blue eyes. He introduces himself and smiles. His name is Ben and those eyes crinkle at the edges when he smiles. She shakes his hand and a current runs up her arm. The air turns thick, making it hard to breathe. She smiles and introduces herself. Did she wait too long to do that? It’s OK, he seems to be kind of just standing there, too. She looks at his bicep from his outstretched hand, and his shoulders. She has to look up at him, which is nice. Most actors are shorter and scrawnier than you think. He looks like he could have played American football. He says something and it takes her a beat, and she realizes it’s from the script. He drops her hand and looks at her. She says the next line, the way Aeryn would say it. As he starts to walk down the hallway (wow, nice butt, too), he keeps running lines and she gets in the rhythm that he is—they are—creating. They finish the scene by the time they get to the door of the rehearsal room. He says let’s go put it on film. She knows that he’s right, there’s no need to rehearse anymore. All of a sudden, they are Aeryn and John, not Claudia and Ben.


The door opens and she stops and looks at him with—what color are her eyes anyway? Blue? Gray? And so huge, and deep. Black hair, not blonde and not one of those girls a foot shorter than him. She’s tall (those legs go on forever) and slender and exotic and interesting, and he finally introduces himself. He shakes her hand and a current runs up his arm. The air turns thick, making it hard to breathe. She has great arms and shoulders that her sleeveless t-shirt show off, and is he staring at her? She seems to hesitate and then she smiles and introduces herself. What just came out of her mouth? Her voice is low and husky, reverberating around him. He knows he is just standing there thinking about her smile and how John would do anything to see that smile, but Aeryn probably wouldn’t smile much. He can tell that she is appraising him, but he likes it this time. He realizes he hasn’t said anything in how long, and the first thing that comes into his head is his first line of the script. He finally lets go of her hand. She takes a beat and picks up with her line and then they are walking down the hallway running all of the lines in the scene and it’s easy and comfortable and thrilling all at once. When they get to door of the rehearsal room he suggests they go put it on film. He already knows that he’s found Aeryn, he doesn’t even have to hear the lines again, but he wants to just so he can hear her voice. He could listen to her talk all day.


She leaves thinking that she has never had a better audition. She wonders if she will ever have another one that good. She’s pretty sure she has the part, and Ben (those lips) told her that he is going to tell the producers that she’s Aeryn. He has some say, but it’s up to them. She knows how elusive chemistry can be, and she just hopes the producers know it, too.


Well, that was the best time he’s ever had at an audition. He doesn’t want to do any more today, he knows that there is no point. But, they’ve only got a few girls left and the producers want him to put the best auditions on a tape and send it to them. He’ll do that, but he’s going to tell them that they have to get Claudia (those lips), no matter what. She’s it. When that chemistry comes along, you grab it.