Hey, everybody! I was suddenly inspired late last night to write a fic! Don't know exactly how it'll turn out yet, so I'd appreciate tons of reviews and help from the readers! Thanx!

In A Heartbeat By: Crystal

Chapter One

In a dim warehouse, a lone figure flitted among the numerous boxes of hardware, searching. Searching, looking, seeking what?

As the silhouetted shadow crossed into a patch of moonlight filtering in through the high windows, a glimpse of a breathtaking face could be seen.

It was a woman. A beautiful woman with a heart-shaped face, waist-length hair, and eyes so blue and piercing, they seemed to peer right into your soul.

Suddenly the woman gasped and rushed over to an empty space beside a pile of crates. "Jake! Darling, what happened?!"

The man lying on the ground groaned and shifted slightly. "Ann, didn't I tell you to stay away? You have no idea what you're getting yourself into! Hurry, leave while there is still time!"

"No, Jake! I won't leave you again! Who did this to you? Who?"

Jake sighed heavily and murmured, "No, Ann, it doesn't matter, I won't last much longer anyways. Now, listen carefully. I want you to take the diamonds and catch a flight to England. You know my parents are there. Put most of the diamonds in a trust fund for the-"

"No! You can't die! What about the baby? She'll grow up never knowing her father! You can't just tell me to leave with you!" She threw herself across his chest, sobbing pathetically.

"All right, all right! That's enough! Cut it right there! Flip the lights on somebody, get up, Mina, Chad!"

Bright lights flooded the area, revealing a wide stage instead of a dark warehouse in the middle of the night.

"Miss Aino, come down here, please," shouted the director, a rather handsome young man called Mr. Darien Shields.

"Minako," Darien began, as the girl hopped off the stage, "I know you came highly recommended by Usagi-chan. In fact, that was a pretty good of on- the-spot improvisation there, but there's just something missing in your whole personality. Something that every successful actress needs."

The girl's smile wavered for a second and faltered.

Darien massaged his temples wearily. "You lack reality, girl. You tend to over-dramatize everything! That is probably more useful in a soap opera than anywhere else. But it's just something that we don't have much use for in this upcoming film. I'm sorry, Mina, but I can't give you a part in this movie."

Mina's voiced trembled as she asked in a pleading tone, "Not even a minor role? Maybe just somebody in the background?"

Darien shook his head apologetically.

Mina's face fell as she saw her last resort coming to a dead end. "Well, thanks anyways, Mr. Shields, I understand. I know you went out on a limb for me because Usa-chan asked you to. Well, I've got to r un now, bye!" She headed down the aisle toward the exit.

Chad came running up with her coat. "Hey, Mina! Your coat!"

As he caught up to her, Mina grinned her thanks and reached for the jacket.

Chad watched her put it on. "Hey, babe, tough luck! Some of us just aren't meant to become great acting superstars." He shrugged sympathetically. "Cheer up, you'll find something eventually!"

Mina shot him a tired smile. "I certainly hope so," she replied, thinking of her empty fridge and all the notices from her landlord about the rent that still had to be paid on her small apartment.

As she continued up the aisle alone, Mina felt as if she were wallowing in a pit of self-pity. She paused before the great wooden doors and took a deep, calming breath. Pushing the heavy doors open, she stepped out into the bright sunlight and fresh air of the streets of Seattle.