The Jaguar Star (Tales of the Were Jaguar Island #4) - Bianca D'Arc


“I got the part? Seriously? You’re not pulling my leg, are you? I really got the part?” Katrina could hardly believe what she’d just heard.

Mel Lazarus, her new agent, laughed on the other end of the phone. “You really got the part, kid,” he told her again. “They want you on set next week.”

“Next week?” She couldn’t help the way her voice squeaked with excitement. “Where?”

“They’re filming in a little town in Virginia. They got some kind of sweetheart deal to do the majority of the set work there, though they’ll fly you to England for some of the location shots later.”

“England!” She could hardly wait.

Her passport hadn’t been stamped since she was a little girl, traveling with her family to meet relatives in the old country. She’d kept it current, just in case, and now, it looked like she’d finally get to use it again. All expenses paid.

Katrina Valiando had never thought she’d be paid to act in a movie. She’d given up on her thespian dreams years ago, but a chance meeting in the trattoria owned by her family had given her the chance of a lifetime, to star in a movie—albeit a low-budget one—opposite one of her favorite actors.

Rendall Smith had starred in a television crime drama when Katrina was a teenager, and most of the girls her age had immediately fallen in love with his good looks and tough guy image. He’d enjoyed the fame and fortune that had come with it, by all accounts, but then had become something of a recluse. He only showed his face for promotion of his film projects these days, and each one was met with a great deal of media hoopla.

The fact that he was starring in this low-budget movie was a bit of a coup for the female director, and rumors abounded as to why a star of Rendall Smith’s caliber would deign to participate in such a production. However, none of that mattered to Katrina. She was both intimidated by the idea of playing Maid Marian to Rendall’s Robin Hood and stunned that she had been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

It was that director. Sonia Melisande was her name. She was an up-and-comer in the film world, and she’d dined at Katrina’s family’s restaurant a few weeks ago with a party of friends. The woman had spent a good portion of the meal glancing toward Katrina, who stood at her usual spot by the door, running the hostess station.

Katrina had noticed the other woman’s interest, when she had time to spare. It had been a busy night, and Katrina had been run off her feet. She did occasionally get stares from patrons of the restaurant, but usually, they were male. When Sonia had approached Katrina after the meal, she’d been floored to be handed a plain white business card and invited to do a screen test.

Not one to let an opportunity pass, though she’d been a bit leery not knowing all the particulars, Katrina had gone to the test and read for the part of Maid Marian. To her surprise, she’d received a call from Mel Lazarus, the well-known theatrical agent, a few days later. He’d offered to represent her, which was a little backwards from the way things normally occurred, but Katrina knew of his reputation in the industry, having once had dreams about being a professional actor. Mel Lazarus was a top-tier agent, and he didn’t represent just anybody. Katrina had agreed to meet him, and then, after talking with him for a bit, she’d signed on to let him represent her in any negotiations relating to her recent screen test. She hadn’t been too surprised to learn it had been the director who had given him Katrina’s number.

Fast forward to the present, and Mel was calling to tell her she’d gotten the part. It was like a dream. Katrina felt like she was walking on air. No way could this really be happening.

She was going to star opposite one of her favorite actors? She was going to be paid to act? She was going to make money while traveling to Europe? She was going to get paid to kiss Rendall Smith?

Holy Toledo! It all seemed just too unreal. And, yet, it wasn’t. She had been chosen, and she would darned well do her best to be the most amazing Maid Marian the world had ever seen.

Sonia put down the telephone after speaking with Mel Lazarus. Katrina had accepted the part. Sonia had set things in motion.