A few weeks ago now I asked which character from What Happens in New York you’d like to meet first. It was a tie between Astin Mack — model-turned-stunt-performer — and Tate Gardener, singer/actor/entrepreneur/model. I went with Astin first, because his scene is earlier in the novel and I have a soft spot for him. This second scene is all about Tate!
Tate is only a minor character in this book, but she’s one of my favourites to write, and also the glue that holds a lot of the characters together. Whilst she’s only got a handful of scenes in What Happens in New York, she’ll have a bigger part to play in book two, and also has her own spin-off novel.
This isn’t the first time we meet her, but in her first scene she doesn’t speak! I figured it’s better to introduce her to you all in a scene where she says/does a little more!
In this scene, Hollie’s in the toilets reapplying her make-up when Tate and her friend burst in…
Music from the rest of the club filled the brightly-lit toilets. She approached the mirror above the sinks and studied her reflection. Her cheeks were flushed, almost matching the red of her hair. Surprisingly, her make-up hadn’t smudged, which was good. Her fringe hadn’t moved yet either. That was a first. All that hairspray had paid off.
She took some clear lipgloss from her bag and reapplied it over her burgundy-stained lips. It was a good job she’d applied a lipstain…
As she reapplied her lipgloss, two others stumbled in, giggling. One disappeared into a cubicle, whilst the other went to the mirror. Her super-long blonde hair fastened into pigtail buns, Hollie recognised her as Tate Gardener. She forced herself not to stare, focusing on topping up her lipgloss. She’d been a fan of Tate Gardener since she’d starred in a Disney show a decade ago, but having found out that not every celebrity was whom they pretended to be, she wasn’t so interested in making any more famous friends.
‘Hey, you’re Hollie, right?’
‘Yeah,’ she replied. Tate had remembered her from the other night? They’d barely even spoke.
‘I hope everything turned out ok the other night. Astin was really bummed you had to leave early.’
‘I think so. It’s a long story,’ said Hollie.
‘Does it involve Trinity?’ Tate asked, leaning against the sink.
‘How’d you know?’
Tate pursed her lips. ‘I saw your friend talking to Liam. Trinity gets jealous over the tiniest things. I wouldn’t let her bother either of you.’
‘Thanks. It’s a lot harder to not let her bother you when she’s in your face, though.’
Tate closed her eyes and took a deep breath, her hands clasped in front of her. ‘That woman, I swear. Why Liam puts up with her I’ll never know. I’m Tate, by the way. Sorry, I completely forgot to introduce myself!’ Tate held out her hand, and Hollie shook it.
‘That’s ok,’ said Hollie. ‘I love your new album.’
‘Thanks!’ said Tate, beaming. ‘Is your outfit one of yours?’
Hollie nodded. What else had Astin told Tate about her?
‘He was right. Your stuff is good.’
Hollie shrugged. ‘It’s ok.’
Tate stepped closer and touched the fabric of Hollie’s white blazer. ‘It’s more than ok.’ She narrowed her eyes. ‘He said you were self-deprecating. He wasn’t kidding.’
Hollie blushed. He’d said a lot about her apparently. And picked up far too much already.
Tate’s friend emerged from the cubicle and washed her hands in the sink to Hollie’s right. She had on a black strapless jumpsuit that looked amazing with her long legs. Her killer cheekbones were set off with a pixie crop, and the gold undertones in her skin brought out by a rose gold lipgloss. Hollie didn’t recognise her, but she was definitely pretty. Model material, even. She nodded at Hollie. ‘Cute outfit.’
‘Isn’t it?’ agreed Tate. She turned back to Hollie: ‘Think you could make me something for my new music video?’
Want to know what happens next? What Happens in New York is out now!