Extract from Take Two: Archie and the Traffic Island

Extract from Take Two: On the upside Elektra is soon going to be filming the role of Straker up in sunny Slough with co-star Carlo. One the downside, Archie has been cast to play a vampire hunter and is off to Transylvania to be surrounded by maidens of outstanding beauty.


‘I’m going to miss you when I’m away,’ said Archie, when we’d got a safe distance from the cafe.

‘You’ll be too busy killing vampires to miss me,’ I said, and stopped myself from adding ‘and hanging out with maidens of outstanding beauty’.

‘Well, you’ll be busy with Straker . . . and working out with Dick.’ He tried not to laugh. We were walking really slowly because my leg muscles had started to seize up in a worrying way. ‘Any news on the locations yet? Is Hungary definitely happening? Hungary’s pretty much next door to Romania.’

That had occurred to me too. ‘No, nothing’s been confirmed.’

‘Well, wherever you are, you’re going to be hanging out on-set with Carlo.’

Wait a minute, was Archie jealous? I really hoped he was. I willed him to be a bit more explicit because that’s pretty much always how The Conversation starts in romcoms.

Nothing. Archie stuck his hands in his pockets and stared intently at the ground. I gave it a bit longer. Still nothing. I changed the subject. ‘Flissy was a bit intense,’ I said.

‘Terrifying, I thought,’ said Archie. We stopped on one of those little islands in the middle of the road and he pulled me round so I was facing him. ‘I’d “un-get” with Talia in a minute if I could,’ he said.

‘It really doesn’t matter,’ I said.

‘Yeah, but I don’t want you to think I’m that kind of guy because, well . . . because . . . you know how much I like you, right?’

‘Well ...’ I sounded more doubtful than I was because I really, really wanted him to tell me how much he liked me.

‘I’m pretty sure I’ve made it embarrassingly obvious how much I like you,’ he said.

‘Not quite embarrassingly obvious enough ...’ I said in a small voice.

‘OK, you want me to be more embarrassing.’ He laughed and looked round, maybe to check for paps, now that he was going to be a teenage vampire-hunting celebrity. ‘How about this? I, Archie Mortimer, am incredibly into you, Elektra James. And, um ... I was thinking ... well, I was wondering ...’ He paused. ‘And ... anyway ... I really want to make this official. What do you think?’

What I thought was that I should probably kiss him, even if the businessman loudly clearing his throat as he edged past us obviously thought that our tiny PDA was a shocking testament to the depravity of modern youth.

Traffic islands had definitely gone up in my estimation. I’d walked past so many without realizing their potential. This one was right up there with the all-time classic romantic destinations: Pemberley; the brooding, windswept, Yorkshire Moors; and the small expanse of concrete in the middle of the road between Starbucks and the park.

I officially had a boyfriend.
My boyfriend was flying to Transylvania.

I had to hope that was correlation not causation.