A/N: I'm kind of a newbie to fanfic, so I'm sorry if I commit any faux pas, but this will be my first 'feature length' fanfic. For those of you who read 'The Morning After' one-shot, that was the inspiration for this story, even though I won't be using that scene here. I have the whole story pretty much mapped out and a few chapters already written, but I'd still like to keep a dialogue open with readers so if you want to see specific things happen in the future or have any suggestions please let me know. And if you care to, I'd love some feedback. Please let me know what you think.
The title of this story is taken from the song 'Bold As Love' by Jimi Hendrix. Give it a listen. Some of the lyrics might give you a hint as to what themes I'll be exploring, plus Jimi just wails on the guitar solo. I'll also be using music throughout the chapters to soundtrack certain scenes.
This is a HeYa story and we'll be starting off with shooting in the middle of Season 2. This first chapter has a lot of characters and moving parts but I tried to make it as coherent as possible. However, I do apologize if it gets confusing. Though there are a lot of characters in this initial chapter, I want to state that HeYa will be the main focus and endgame of this story. I plan on this story being very long, letting characters and storylines develop properly, so we're in for a ride and I'd be honored to have you all take this journey with me as the story unfolds.
Sorry for the long Author's Note. Now let's get to the story.
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction loosely based on real people that I do not actually know. I've taken a lot of personal liberties with this story so, aside from the use of names and episode titles, all characterizations and events are purely fiction. I have no affiliation with Glee or anyone who works on Glee.
Bold As Love
Ch.1 Blame it on the Alcohol
"Cut!" Eric Stoltz stood up from his director's chair behind the monitor and threw his hands up above his head, clapping with pride. "That was perfect guys. We can call it a wrap on this number. Outstanding!" Almost all fourteen cast members on stage collectively sighed with relief while some gave celebratory shouts amid lethargic clapping.
With a satisfied grin on his face Kevin burst out of his wheelchair pointing at Mark, "My brotha!"
Mark threw his arm up as Kevin jumped to give him a high five. Thwack! "Whoo!" Mark shouted, "and that's how it's done."
Naya smiled broadly at the boy's enthusiasm and helplessly let out a fatigued laugh when Chord walked over to give them a fist bump. Sometimes the three of them seemed like they were in some type of college fraternity. Naya found it endearing but wondered how they could possibly have any energy left after a full week of shooting, not to mention running through the 'Blame it on the Alcohol' number for what seemed like an entire day. Her legs were burning and more than anything she wanted to sit. She plopped down on the white circular couch on stage and let her head fall back as her eyes automatically closed shut. It felt nice to just sit still and breathe for a moment.
On the other side of the stage Heather playfully nudged at Cory's shoulder, "Not bad for a white boy."
"You're just as white as me," he chuckled and crossed his arms.
"Yeah, but I can do this." Heather gracefully spun a full rotation on one foot to see Cory smiling back at her.
"And that's why you're front and center in every dance number while they put me just off frame," he said as he motioned his hands to the side like he was putting a box on a shelf.
Heather giggled and poked at his now exposed stomach. Cory made a sound like he'd just been stabbed and slowly looked down at his stomach. "Tell my ma I love her," he whispered in a cowboy accent and then dropped to the floor with his eyes closed and his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. He lay there for a few seconds and then popped his head up with a big smile. "See, I can play dead."
Heather laughed with amusement at his ability to turn just about anything into an off the wall joke. For being one of the oldest cast members on set Cory somehow had the most contagious attitude of playful innocence. Heather always felt like she was ten years old again around Cory. They'd even had full out nerf gun battles around the trailers during some downtime on set, which she generally won. But he always made sure to get her back with some type of prank usually involving water balloons or squirt guns.
As Heather extended her arm out and helped Cory up she caught a glint of light shining from across the stage. It was the shiny material of Naya's dress glimmering in the lights as she lay back on the couch. A mischievous grin lagged across Heather's face.
"Be right back," she said, skipping past Cory.
As she approached the couch she gradually slowed her skipping to a crawl and crouched down like a lion hunting its prey. She made her way behind the couch directly behind Naya, steadied her breathing and slowly stood up.
Naya felt her whole body melting into the couch, her face slack and relaxed, when suddenly there was a jolt from her abdomen and her eyes sprung open to see Heather's face above her, laughing like a five year old as she torturously tickled the unsuspecting girl. Her hands immediately jumped up to clutch Heather's arms as she curled her knee's up towards her chest.
"Ahh! Oh my god, stop!" Naya yelped. She couldn't help but giggle spastically.
Heather continued the tickle attack, her smile growing bigger with each passing second, until she saw the girl's eyes begin to water from involuntary laughter. She abruptly stopped and bent down to give a small peck to Naya's forehead before jumping up to swing her legs over the backside of the couch and plop down next to the girl who was now gasping for air.
Naya took a moment to fall back into a comfortable breathing rhythm while her body felt the odd sensation one gets after being tickled breathlessly. The adrenaline was still coursing through her body and she knew it would linger there for the rest of the day. "How do you always get me when I'm least expecting it?"
Heather shrugged and gave a warm smile, "I'm your own personal tickle monster."
Naya poked her foot at the blonde's leg.
Just then, Leo, the 1st A.D., boomed over the bullhorn, his voice filling the entire auditorium, "All right guys. Great stuff. I have an important announcement though so everyone listen up. We still have to shoot coverage for this scene so we'll get that going once camera team is set up. Now I know you all are looking forward to getting out half a day early but Eric wants more coverage and a reshoot on part of the party scene."
Naya slumped further down the couch. "Damn it," she said under her breath.
Heather turned her head to Naya and pouted her lip in a mock sad face.
"So let's knock the rest of this scene out so we can get the rest of the day done," Leo concluded and switched off the bullhorn.
Amber sighed and leaned up against the side of the couch. "I guess this means less time for partying tonight."
Kevin rolled up in his wheelchair waving his hand in mock disapproval. "Hell Nah. We gonna be partyin' 'till dawn," he joked.
The girls laughed at how obsessed Kevin had been with acting like he was in a rap video since they started shooting the episode. He always had an affinity for acting like that but it seemed to be amplified during the past week. As they came down from their laughing Amber turned her attention to Naya. "So which version of drunk Nay Nay do you think we'll get tonight?"
Kevin chimed in with his normal speaking habits, "I'm preferable to badass 'Snix' or superhero Naya." He shot his arm straight up and out like Superman. "The Veiled Fairy," he said in an ominous tone while the girls chuckled.
Naya was trying to speak through her laughter. "I'm not sure. We'll have to see."
"Super Sexy Naya is always fun." Heather gave her a sly grin and winked at her.
The brunette cocked her head to the side and shot a knowing smirk towards Heather. Naya could always hold her liquor pretty well but she never slipped into one specific drunk archetype. She always either filled the void of drunken types present or took on the characteristics of whomever she was around. If someone was an angry drunk, she turned into Snix so she could fire back insults. If someone was a happy drunk, she couldn't stop laughing. When Heather drank a lot she became even more comfortable and overt with her body than she normal was. Consequently, more often than not, whenever Naya drank with Heather they would end up dancing quite suggestively together and/or some light and playful kissing would ensue.
"We'll see. I might need a cat nap before we get all shwasted tonight though."
"Pshh, nonsense," Kevin negated. "You can sleep it off tomorrow."
There was a muffled popping noise that pulsed through the auditorium, which meant the bullhorn was switched on. "All right everyone. Camera Team is set up for the master shot. Let's knock this out," Leo's voice boomed throughout the space. Everyone began moving to first places. Naya breathed a deep sigh and sat up from the couch along with Heather.
"Good thing I tickle attacked you."
Naya gave her a quizzical look in response, not sure where she would go with the comment.
" 'Cause now I know you'll be awake for the rest of shooting. A few Red Bulls and you'll be partying 'till the sun is up."
Naya smiled at how well her friend knew her and took her hand as she led her to their first positions for the shot.
"Cut! Circle it!" Eric yelled from behind the monitor and turned to Leo talking in hushed tones. After a few moments Eric walked towards Matt, "Good stuff man," and patted him on the back.
Leo turned to the cast on stage. "Alright, we're good on Matt's coverage. We're gonna set up the medium shot for you guys next, so take five."
Kevin sprung up from his chair, snickering as he walked toward the right wing of the stage trying not to fall down laughing. He was constantly looking back at Naya as he walked away and every time he looked back he would crack up again.
"See, Bee, this is why we can't be near each other in scenes," Naya called out to him through disjointed laughing.
Harry walked up to stand next to Heather. "What's so funny?"
She took the black fedora with the small red feather off Harry's head. "Just Naya and Kevin laughing for no reason again." She twirled the hat in her hand.
Naya felt bad because Kevin and her had almost ruined the Take with their snickering. Everyone was being extra giddy from having to act like they were drunk and because the whole cast was running on about 4 hours of sleep. It was getting to that point in the shooting day where everyone's so tired that they seem intoxicated. Naya and Kevin weren't the only one's snickering for no good reason. They were almost done shooting the episode and everyone's diligence was wearing thin.
"I got ten bucks on Snix!" Naya heard Mark from behind her. She sauntered over to the white circular couch where Chord, Mark, Jenna, Lea, and Diana were sitting. Naya leaned her forearms on the back of the couch. "You guys talkin smack about me?" she said raising her eyebrow.
Lea continued the flow of conversation, skipping over Naya's question. "I don't know. It's been a while since we've seen Ms. Foxxy Cleopatra come out to play. I think she's due for a comeback"
"Yeah, I'm going with Lea on this one. I got twenty of Foxxy," Chord challenged.
Kevin walked up with a bottle of water. "What we bettin on?"
Naya put a hand on her hip. "Wait, you guys are betting on which of my drinking alter egos I'll be tonight?"
"Just them," Diana piped up. "I have nothing to do with this."
Kevin's eyes popped with excitement. "Oh, my money's on Snix too!"
"Which one is Foxxy again?" Jenna was lost in the conversation.
"Foxxy is super sexy Naya who makes out with people."
Naya shot Kevin a look of embarrassment at his comment. "Bee!"
Kevin shrugged, "What? You do!"
Just then, Harry's black fedora glided in the air towards Naya and landed perfectly on her head. "Ten points!" Heather enthusiastically yelled from behind. She threw her arms in the air and jumped before skipping over to the group.
The brunette adjusted the hat slightly while smiling slyly at Heather. "Thanks. I thought this outfit was missing something." Heather winked at Naya and inaudibly giggled as she linked her arm with hers.
"And Heather's going to turn into an Olympian hat thrower," Diana sarcastically added.
"As long as we don't see hysterical Naya. I don't think I can handle that again," Lea commented
"Oh my God! That happened once! And my thumb got all jammed and fucked up that night. It hurt like a bitch."
"Yeah, except you wouldn't tell anyone about it for like an hour," Mark protested. "Any time someone asked you what was wrong you just did this high-pitched weeping thing."
"Oh that's what that noise was. I thought it was a mouse," Kevin joked.
Taking the opportunity to ease the slight embarrassment of her past hysterical crying episode, Naya scrunched her face and quivered her voice in a high-pitched sound, pretending to weep. Heather pulled her into a tight hug playing along, "It's okay. Basil will save you." Lea and Mark looked at each other, confused by Heather's comment.
"Ah! Great Mouse Detective! Awesome movie," Kevin alleviated their confusion.
Naya pulled back from the hug with an approving smile, "Good one, HeMo." Heather smiled modestly as her hands rested on Naya's hips.
"That's perfect!" Eric walked up from the wing of the stage. "And it goes with Santana's weepy drunk shtick. Naya. Heather. Do that when we go for this next shot. It'll be good for another laugh."
Naya scrunched her chin and jutted her lips out with indifferent approval, "Cool."
"Sorry, Eric," Kevin apologized. "I promise the giggle fits are done."
"No worries. Let's take it back to Matt's line, 'Have you guys heard of alcohol poisoning?'"
Kevin turned back towards Naya and whispered, "You really do sound like a mouse."
She began to snicker. Heather bounced her palm off the top of Kevin's head in front of her like she was buzzing in on a game show. "Don't make her laugh." Naya quickly composed herself.
"Okay. Okay. Sorry." Kevin re-focused and turned forward toward the camera.
"And … Action!"
'Yeah driving drunk is dangerous. Any of you guys every heard of alcohol poisoning? It kills about 400 people every year.'
Naya had her hands on her hips, eyes down to the floor. After thirteen Takes, half of which were blown by Kevin's laughing, Heather could hear Naya begin her now very well rehearsed weeping.
'Santana are you crying?'
Naya threw her hands up waving off the concern offered to her. 'I'm okay. I'm okay.'
She turned away toward Heather for a hug she knew was waiting for her. As Heather's arm wrapped around Naya's back to pull her closer and Naya's arms snaked around Heather's neck, their faces turned at the same time causing their lips to lightly brush against each other.
Heather pulled her head back to let the brunette comfortably hug her. She could feel Naya's face instantly warm up against her neck. Suddenly Heather could see goosebumps on Naya's arms that seemed to appear out of nowhere and the brunette quickly buried her head further into the blonde's neck. Heather became filled with concern. Something seemed a little off with Naya, like she had suddenly become shaken up about something. Heather wanted to do something to comfort her and let her know that her best friend was there for her if she needed it. So the blonde pulled her into a tighter hug and started soothingly rubbing her back.
Because they were best friends in real life, Heather liked the fact that she got to play Naya's on-screen best friend too. A lot of their friendship crossed over on-screen like when their characters would be flirty or joking around. But whenever Santana was written to be upset about something she'd usually turn to Brittany for support and comfort. Heather liked that those scenes were pretty much exclusive to her because in real life, if she ever saw Naya upset over something she'd be the first person there to support and comfort her. Heather hated to see her friends upset, especially someone she was so close with. She always wanted to be the one to alleviate anything that hurt or at least ease the pain. Even though they were acting out a scene, a scene that was meant for a laugh, Heather liked that she got to be the one to hug Naya in these types of moments.
"Cut! Circle it!"
Both girl's pulled back from their tight embrace and Heather looked into Naya's eyes with worry. "Are you okay?" She rubbed her arms.
"Yeah, fine," Naya blurted out. "It's cold in here isn't it?"
Heather opened her mouth to protest knowing Naya was avoiding the question but Kevin intervened. "Hey I didn't screw up this time!" Naya gave him a faint smile.
Then Leo's voice boomed through the bullhorn. "Alright everyone that's a wrap on this scene. Talent, get to wardrobe. We want to be ready to shoot in Rachel's basement in 30 minutes." Harry, Amber, Jenna and Lea jumped off the stage and raced up the auditorium aisles to be the first to the wardrobe trucks.
"Leo, where's the fire?" Cory shouted from the stage.
"Just trying to get you guys outta here so you can actually party instead of throwing a fake one."
Chord and Mark side glanced each other for a prolonged moment like they were waiting to see who would flinch first before they jumped off the stage and took off down the aisles. Naya let go of Heather and rolled Kevin up and out of his wheelchair. Heather threw her arm out toward Naya who was now out of reach. She was about to ask once again if something was wrong before the other girl cut her off.
"Race ya!" Naya challenged Kevin.
"You're on!" Naya and Kevin jumped off stage to race to the wardrobe truck, leaving Heather with her mouth gaping open wondering why her friend was avoiding her concern.
Naya was in her tight, form fitting black and blue striped dress with her hips pressed into the back corner of a comfy, oversized chair. She held a red solo cup filled with water close to her chest, her left leg bent under her right, which was fully extended over the cushion and hanging over the edge. She let her head fall to the side and rest on the soft, beige fabric of the chair as she closed her eyes.
She found it odd that she would be so tired today. Normally she had more than enough energy for five people combined. But she'd had a busy couple of weeks. When she wasn't rehearsing, recording, or shooting a scene, she was taking meetings with various music producers, A&R guys, and her manager, working on signing a potential record deal. In addition, she'd tried to get as much songwriting in as possible, trying to hone in on the type of sound and style she wanted to present to them. But she was frustrated. She'd fallen into a writer's block lately and couldn't accurately get out what she was feeling whenever she sat down to write lyrics. Everything just felt forced and wrong. One night during the previous week she actually threw her pen and notebook at her microwave and ended up sitting Indian style on the kitchen floor crying into her hands. Aside from falling in love, which she'd pretty much given up on at this point, a major record deal was one of her biggest dreams. She didn't want to screw it up. The pressure to deliver quality work combined with the frustration of her recent writer's block took a lot out of her.
Naya heard a small 'clink' on the glass of the end table next to the chair as her leg was being lifted slightly. She opened her eyes to see Heather slip in next to her, placing Naya's leg over her lap. Naya extended her other leg across the girl's lap and inched closer to rest her head in the crook of her neck.
The thought to ask her friend what was wrong earlier briefly crossed Heather's mind, but she decided against it. It was probably nothing. She was probably just a little burnt out. Heather knew how much Naya was stressing about her songwriting and getting the record deal on top of all her other responsibilities with the show. She wanted to see her friend just relax for a night and not have to think about any of that. So she lightly stroked her hand from the girl's knee down to her ankle and back up again, leaving Naya with a tingling sensation that shot from her feet all the way up through her legs.
Naya could feel Heather's pulse on the side of her cheek as she curled into the girl's neck. Her entire body felt warm and comforting; their sides harmonizing together in a perfect fit like pieces of a puzzle. For a brief moment, Naya thought everything just felt … right.
"Do I need to tickle you again?" Heather said in jest.
"No! No more tickle monster." Naya glanced down into her solo cup, "I should probably have a Red Bull or something besides water though." She took a small sip from her cup.
Heather slowly grinned as she extended her arm out to grab the energy drink she'd placed on the end table. She held the drink and popped the tab with one hand as Naya chugged the rest of her water. The brunette's eyes widened as she held up the now empty cup.
"Fill me up!"
Heather emptied the drink into the cup as Naya bounced giddily like a kid receiving Halloween candy. She immediately drank about a fourth of it before thanking Heather.
Chord sat down in a huff on the other oversized chair opposite the girls. "You guys know what else we have left to shoot?"
Heather turned to Chord while Naya tended to her liquid energy. "I think Leo said we have a few more filler party shots and we have to reshoot Lea's coverage at the top of the scene. Something about sound being messed up yesterday."
"Good," Chord sighed. "I am so ready for a beer."
"Ahh," Naya sighed with satisfaction as she finished her drink.
Heather turned to her in shock, "Jesus, you inhaled that! Thirsty much?"
Naya smirked at her. "I gotta be ready to get my drink on tonight." Despite the fact that she needed sleep more than anything, she really was looking forward to cutting loose with the cast in some inebriated debauchery. They'd all been going non-stop for three weeks straight. Naya just wanted a night of irresponsible fun with her friends where she didn't have to think about the pressure or worry about the stress. She wanted to throw caution to the wind for a night.
Eric walked up and sat on the armrest of Chord's chair. The director contemplatively stared at the girls for a moment. "How're my fearless party animals doing?"
"Tequila, Vodka, and Whiskey! Oh my!" Heather joked. Naya giggled at the ease with which her friend could make a pop culture or movie reference out of just about anything.
Eric let out a cheerful laugh. "Actually that's incredibly appropriate for my next question. How do you girls feel about body shots?"
"I'm in favor of them," Naya said nonchalantly.
"I voted 'Yes' for the 'Body Shots at Work' law. Too bad it didn't pass," Heather continued the matter-of-fact quality of their joking. Naya laughed at how ridiculously fun a law like that would be.
"Okay. Good," Eric agreed. "'Cause I was thinking we could get a few cut-away shots of you taking a body shot off Heather. Just for some filler footage for the party. Are you girls up for it?"
The girls faced each other for a brief moment and shrugged simultaneously. Heather turned back to Eric. "Yeah! We make body shots look good," she beamed proudly. She didn't have any hesitation or reservations about Naya doing a body shot off her. After all, it's not like they hadn't done that several times before.
Naya however, had to consciously make an effort to make herself seem totally blasé about the idea. Sure, they'd done body shots before but they were drinking. Naya was very much sexually attracted to Heather but she never acted on those impulses beyond their naturally flirty demeanor with each other. As far as Naya knew, Heather had never had any sexual or romantic desire towards other girls, beyond a few curious kisses she had in high school and some playful drunken kissing. The only time Naya ever let her baser impulses through was when alcohol was involved. They had miraculously established a unique and comfortable friendship from day one. Naya wasn't one to trust others easily but by the end of that first week something had clicked that allowed the girls to just helplessly be themselves around each other. It was a precious connection that couldn't be explained and they quickly established a comfort zone with each other. So, as much as Naya'a fleeting moments of sexual attraction begged her to progress to something more physically satisfying, she was always very cautious not to let things slip too far and potentially make things awkward with their friendship. And even then, if things got a little too frisky, Naya and thankfully Heather, would just flippantly blame it on the alcohol. Body shots with Heather were always a major turn on for Naya, causing her to be even more sexually forward and suggestive with her than she normally was. This time it was fake body shots. She was doing this sober. If she got a little turned on and extra flirty with Heather, she couldn't use alcohol as an excuse.
"Kevin, hand me the salt, will ya?" Naya pointed to the table behind him. He grabbed the saltshaker and swung his arm around to hand it over. Naya was staring at Heather's abs, in all their toned glory, on display right in front of her and she fumbled with the saltshaker almost dropping it.
Heather's lithe body allowed her neck and head to hang gracefully off the side of the table while her chest was sprightly propped up and clad in a pink bra with black polka dots and a black skinny tie that hung from her neck, resting between her breasts. She swung her head up with poise, looking directly at Naya and teasingly bounced her brows up twice. "You ready?"
Naya gulped as she clutched the saltshaker in one hand and almost squeezed the juice out of the lime wedge in her other hand. She could feel the heat between her legs and shifted in her seat trying to make it go away. Lightly giggling, Heather let her head hang down again as Naya waited for her cue.
" 'Background Action!' 'Sound speed!' 'Rolling!' 'Take 1!' " The clapper sticks made a loud smack. "Action!"
Chord threw his arm in the air and started fist pumping. Kevin started yelling and hollering, 'Yeah!'
Chord joined Kevin yelling 'Woohoo!' amid all the other ambient party noise around them.
Naya made a line of salt up Heather's abs. She brought her head down to Heather's midsection and her nose grazed the girl's soft skin as Naya went to lick the salt. She let her tongue linger there a little longer then she should've. Once there was no more salt left to lick she hesitated for a moment, wanting to taste more of the girl's skin. She brought her body and head upright again and jammed the lime into her mouth, sucking hard, before throwing back the shot, which was really just apple juice.
Naya sighed deeply and slammed her eyes shut in frustration. They couldn't use the Take. She knew why he called 'Cut' so quickly. But she blinked her eyes open and turned her attention to Eric, waiting for her direction.
"Let's go again!" Eric called over his shoulder before turning back and speaking to Naya in a much softer tone. "Naya, can you just make it a bit smoother?"
"Sure thing." Naya placed the used lime and empty shotglass on the table behind her where another slice of lime and a shotglass full of apple juice were waiting for her.
Heather swung her head up again and caught Naya's deep brown eyes just as she was turning back with the full shotglass. "You got this. We've done this like a million times. Show 'em your mad shot taking skills." Heather winked at the brunette before letting her head swing down. Naya's eyes traced Heather's body, starting from her chin down her neck and chest to where her breasts seemed to be popping out of her pink bra.
Naya licked her lips then shook her head trying to re-focus.
Alright, come on Rivera. You're a professional. Relax. This is just a filler shot. No biggie. Just get it done in like one, two Takes and we can move on.
She took a deep breath and waited for her cue.
"'Background Action!' 'Sound Speed!' 'Rolling!' 'Take 2!''Smack!"Action!"
They got three more Takes before Eric decided it was good to move on to the next shot. With each Take Naya's movements became more fluid and smoother the way Eric wanted it. But each Take left her wanting more of Heather than just licking her abs. And she knew there was nothing she could do about it, at least not for a few more hours when everyone would be at Kevin's for their episode wrap/two-day break party. And even then, she'd have to gauge it; how much drinking was Heather going to do? Was she going to have any inclination to even kiss Naya tonight? It always changed. Just because they were drinking, it didn't guarantee that Heather would want to kiss her. Sometimes she just got extra dancey or a bit more flirty and touchy. And Naya didn't want to instigate anything unless she knew for sure that Heather was in that type of mood and felt comfortable with it. Naya wasn't sure if it was the two Red Bulls she'd had or her mounting sexual frustration but she was definitely awake now. Her mind wouldn't shut up.
"Let's get Naya and Chord in the background please!" Leo shouted across the room.
Naya and Chord walked into frame and over to the beige sofa chair against the wall. They took their places as they had done the day before, Naya sitting on Chord's lap. They were supposed to be making out for the whole shot. As strange as it was for her to do kissing scenes with Chord, she actually embraced the idea of kissing him for the better part of the next twenty minutes or however long it took to get Lea's coverage. Naya always thought Chord was very cute. She'd even had a small crush on him when he first joined the cast, but after a week or so her crush dissolved away. They slowly became good friends and Naya considered him almost like a brother now.
At first, many thought it was an odd friendship. Most people perceived Naya as somewhat of a valley girl, which she slightly resented. Chord had somehow seen through that. He never had any pre-conceived notion or judgment about her. He was one of the few people she'd met that didn't instantly make assumptions and just let her be. Chord was somewhat of a laid back goofball and a good 'ol boy. Everyone perceived him as such. He was down to earth but with a particular brand of flair and humor that Naya instantly clicked with. He was incredibly humble and filled with integrity, trustworthy and someone you could really depend on. He was quite honest most of the time and very considerate of others and Naya respected him for it. Plus, his impressions were pretty funny and quite accurate.
But her fondness for Chord wasn't the reason she welcomed the opportunity to make out with him. At the moment, Naya needed something to get some of her sexual frustration out and lightly making out with Chord might take some of the edge off. She put her arms across his shoulders and her hands at the back of his neck while they waited for their cue.
"We meet again," Chord used his Sean Connery impression to lighten the awkwardness that sometimes came with kissing on camera. Both of them briefly chuckled and any awkward tension between the two of them was instantly gone.
Naya lightly flicked the back of his neck. "Alright, no laughing. This is our last shot. I don't want to be blamed for any ruined Takes."
"Yeeees," Chord said as he let his head bob back and forward again. "I'm so ready to just chill and have a beer."
A thought crossed Naya's mind and she tilted her head to the side. "Hey, you guys weren't serious about those bets earlier, were you?" Naya was genuinely curious.
A combination of slight guilt flashed across his face. "No, we were mostly just joking around. It's just that … dude, you can drink, like, anyone under the table. You hold your liquor pretty well. Better than some of the guys even, which is kind of awesome."
Naya hesitantly nodded her head, not knowing how to take the compliment.
"Aside from the fact that you're a badass, I also happen to know that you tend to hold back when you're around certain people. I don't know, I just find it kind of interesting whenever you do relax and let loose a bit instead of editing yourself -"
Naya opened her mouth to protest but he reacted quickly.
"- which I know you do. Come on, we've talked about this."
She let her mouth hang open for a moment while she thought about his comment and then pressed her lips together, nodding in agreement. He was right. She was always highly aware of herself. Acutely so in professional circumstances, causing her to constantly edit and filter her words and behavior depending on who was present and what the given task was. She was a master at hiding any frantic or tumultuous feelings when the pressure was on, knowing when to let her true feelings show and when to play it cool. It just came with the job. There were too many situations where it was of the utmost importance to keep your cool, remain charming and stay focused, which, if you're having an off day, is difficult but still necessary. So she learned that even if she was feeling like crap, she'd deal with it later and outwardly remain jovial or channel that energy toward something productive. Over so many years in the industry it just became second nature, a natural reflex. That's why she was so good at PR, always expertly and instinctively knowing the most diplomatic and charming way to both answer and dodge an interview question without making it sound contrived or insincere. She only ever truly wore her heart on her sleeve when she was acting, singing, or around her close family and friends.
"Quiet on set!" Leo boomed from the corner behind the camera.
Naya looked up and caught a glimpse of Heather on the staircase. Heather wasn't needed for the shot but was still there in her wardrobe waiting patiently for the scene to be over. A faint but warm smile appeared on Naya's face.
She didn't forget. She's waiting for me.
The girls had made plans earlier to hang out at Naya's house and get ready together before heading out for the night. But when the shooting schedule changed so that everyone would be done much later than expected, Naya assumed their plans were canceled and Heather would leave to get ready on her own whenever she was done on set. But she stayed, waiting until the brunette was finished with her workday. Naya loved the little things like that.
"Here we go," Chord whispered.
Naya lightly pressed her lips to Chord's hoping it would alleviate some of this uptick in her libido she'd been experiencing for most of the evening.
"'…Take 1!' 'Action!'"
Naya tried to keep herself focused on the task at hand.
Okay. Kissing. You're good at this. Just relax. Chord's not a bad kisser. … Ah hell! Who am I kidding? It's better with Heather. She's the one I want to be doing this with right now. Chord's not bad but it's just … okay it's a little weird. But Jesus, why was being around Heather today such a turn on? We've always been a little flirty with each other. It's not like anything that happened today was out of the ordinary, minus the sober body shot. God, that was such a tease. And the lip graze earlier! What the hell? We've full on kissed before. And we give each other pecks on the cheek and shit all the time. A lip graze should not have turned me on like that. God, I thought my skin was on fire. Stop it! Okay. Focus, Naya. Focus. Stop thinking about Heather and kissing her amazingly soft lips and the fact that she always smells great. How does she do that? She always smells amazing. Ugh! Shit! What did I just say about not thinking about … ya know what? I'm not even gonna think her name. Just do your job, relax, and make out with Chord.
Naya pulled away from Chord as he took a deep breath and relaxed further into the chair. Naya looked up towards the staircase. Heather was smiling broadly at her, wide eyed and with two thumbs up near her face. Naya pulled the corners of her mouth back and looked back at Chord. One Take down. About 8 or so to go.