I should be used to this.
I should be used to be being by her side, watching her gothrough the crowd, watching her beautiful smile grace across her face with eyestwinkling like the stars, then pull back to tuck the strands of hair that cameloose behind her ears. I should be used to it.
But I’m not.
I get nudged again, maybe the fourth time this evening by my handler. She gives me a look and a subtle smile.
It’s a reminder.
Stop staring she quietly warns me with her eyes.
I can’t help but smile because my handler knows me too well. We’ve been through this for the umpteenth time. At first it was an inside joke between us. Then it turned into more of a warning; she casually telling me before meeting up with Caitriona and the rest of the cast.
“I’ll give you a nudge when you get distracted,” she had said and then laughed.
I remember the moment she first told me. I was in a room getting prepped with the events of the day and it had taken me aback. Without asking her to explain, I instantly knew.
“That obvious, huh?”
A grin only widened by the sheer oblivion of my own naivety. A laugh suppressed by her pursed lips.
“I’ll make sure it’s not too obvious,” I said putting on my jacket.
She eyes me suspiciously and raises her eyebrows. “I would pay big money to see you try.”
I do try. It’s impossible, though, and I can’t blame anyone but myself.
It’s really not all her fault.
I can’t blame her for making me laugh the way she does, finding ways to break even the tensest of moments on set or making me feel like it’s just us against the world. I can’t blame her for the moments when we sit in our trailer, dead tired from shooting all night, taking a rare break and her head find its way on my shoulder.
It’s really not her fault.
It’s really mine. Because all in all, I want it to happen.
I feel it again as I break away from my thoughts- a small nudge. I can now hear her clearing her throat, a double threat of some sort.
I can do this. I frantically try and remove myself from the situation and move to the other side of the room. I try not to notice her gaze follow me, making sure I’m still close. Large crowds still make her uneasy. She never told me it did but her actions often speak louder than words.
It’s in the way she bites down on her bottom lip as she watches me. It’s her plea to remind me to stay close because she needs me to. I can’t deny how much I love it, not the physicality of her biting down but knowing regardless of how strong and confident she is, she finds the comfort of me being near.
I try my hardest to focus on the people before me- answering questions over and over again. They don’t know how much truth is behind the comments I make about Caitriona. How there’s so much hidden meaning behind it. Or how much this voice of mine really struggles to say her name without the sound of it cracking, making it so obvious.
For some reason, we are back to where we started. There’s a force between us and we come again to meet in the middle and I see her smiling at me, tilting her head toward me and joking about ‘us’. It’s so easy to hide between jokes and laughter because it’s her and we can’t help it. But for me, they are all half- truths.
She reaches out for me, softly touching my arm, making a reference to me, and my body cannot help but reach back. We’re like magnets, forces unknowing but moving toward one another, incapable of being separated. We stand side by side as my hand floats behind her, slowly stopping to the area of the small of her back. Then I feel it. Her hand. Her long fingers moving upwards as well, stalling before settling, slightly grasping the cloth of my jacket.
It’s electrifying and I can’t help but take a deep breath.
I feel another nudge and I know it’s a sign from my handler again. She’s telling me to move on. There are interviews to be done. Soft touches, eye glances can wait for another time she is quietly telling me. I don’t even bother looking back at my handler. I know what she wants me to do.
I smile at Caitriona,making a promise to reconnect later. She smiles back as I move over, quickly start talking to another fan, and then something grabs a hold of my gaze as I glance her way.
I see it in the corner of my eye. A small nudge. An elbow hitting the corner of Caitriona’s elbow, a warning of some sort, and I quickly glance up to see it- a smile and a blush from Cait as her handler gives her a look, so familiar, like that of my own.
You’re doing it again Cait, her eyes warning her