“I didn’t know that you knew Tamara and Mark. They’re nice people,” I said to her, anxious to hear what she had to say about them.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say I knew them really, but I found it very interesting to work for Mark. He is an excellent director and has a unique perspective on films.”
“I agree and Adam says he is great to work with. I met them both when we were in California.”
Her face showed puzzlement for a brief moment and she frowned. “When were you in California? I thought you guys were in Wichita?” she asked.
“We went to California for a few days, so I could see his house and meet the boys. And Tamara,” I added. This was pretty interesting, she didn’t know that we had been in California, and yet Krista did.
“I got to meet the boys there one day, Tamara brought them to the set and I watched them for a bit while Tamara and Mark conferred about some set problem. She was the set designer on the movie. She and Mark seem so perfect for one another, I just can’t imagine her and Adam together,” she admitted with a laugh.
“I know what you mean, but they are very good friends, which is good for the boys.”
“Doesn’t it bother you that they are so close? I think it would me,” she told me and took another long drink of her soda, finishing it actually.
“No, not at all. I only see it being good for the boys, you know? Showing a united front as parents is very important.” I thought about those words and realized how little of that there had been in our house as the kids were growing up. Not because we were fighting, but because he never paid any attention.
“Well, I never had any kids, but I can see where that would be a good thing.” She hopped down off of the table and said, “I had better get back to work, I’ve still got a dozen things to do! See ya Sarah,” and she headed off down the hallway.
That was the longest I had ever actually talked with her. I had spent longer times with her in Italy, but she was always going 90 miles an hour and this time she actually took time to talk and listen. And it was an interesting conversation; that was for sure.
I decided to call Mom and Dad and see how they were doing. I hadn’t talked to them since I got here and I’m sure they were curious about things. Mom answered almost immediately and was tickled when she realized it was me.
“Hi sweet pea! How are you honey?” I heard her yell at my dad that I was on the phone and to pick up the extension. I had to smile; I could see my dad in at his computer, reading the paper or whatever and reaching for the extension. It was a familiar and comfortable feeling for me.
“Hello Sarah,” Dad chimed in. “How is Texas?”
“Its good, lot’s of wind down here though. Adam’s allergies are kicking his butt!”
“Oh no, that’s not good. Is he taking allergy medication,” Mom asked, always concerned about her loved ones.
“Yes, some nasal spray and it works pretty good. You can always tell when he needs it right away though, he starts sneezing like crazy! I can’t get it for him fast enough then,” I laughed. “What’s the weather like at home?”
“It’s been cloudy and raining today,” Dad informed me. They say we could even get a hard freeze tonight. Glad I got all the plants taken care of last week.”
“Yes, that way he has more time to spend on that darn computer now!” Mom teased. Dad had taken to the computer very well and spent many hours on it every day. Mom had to fight him to find time to play her games I thought with a smile.
“Is everything, uh, quiet down there?” Dad asked. I could hear the concern in his voice and some restraint too. I know it had to be hard for them, worrying all the time about us. And when we were so far away it had to be worse for them; I’m sure they felt out of touch.
“Yes, it’s been okay. This morning was kind of difficult on the set. Adam had a couple of scenes to film with Rachel and they didn’t go too well. Pretty badly actually, but he got through it. I was really proud of him.”
“Rachel is that actress person, the one that caused some problems in California isn’t she?” Mom asked.
I smiled before answering, “Yes, she is. But it all worked out.”
“Where are you today? Are you at the hotel place?” mom wondered.
“No, I’m actually at the set, in Adam’s dressing room. It’s fairly comfortable. There is a table in here where we can eat or Adam can work on the script and then there is a couch that I’m sitting on right now. Adam is out filming a scene on the set. And we aren’t actually staying in a hotel; it’s more like condos really. We have a kitchen and a living room, just like a house. It’s really very comfortable. They are owned by the studio down here and are used exclusively for the cast and crews of movies being made here.”
“That sounds really nice. I guess I just never thought about those kinds of things before, like where actors stayed when they make these movies. It makes sense I guess,” she finished.
“Yes, it’s much better than a hotel. Well Mom and Dad, I’d better go but I wanted to call and say hi. I love you both. Thank you so much for all your help and for accepting Adam into your lives. It means so much to me.” I barely got those last words out before my voice cracked. I was very lucky and I knew it.
“Nonsense Sarah. We love you, both of you. Adam is very easy to accept you know. Call us when you have the time.” And with that, they were gone and I held the phone in my hand for a moment before deciding to call Cassie while I was at it.
Cassie picked up on the second ring and her voice sounded excited. “Well shoot, it I would have known you were this anxious to talk to me I would have called earlier!” I told her.
“Sarah! Oh, it’s wonderful to hear from you. I just had the most wonderful news. Guess what?” she asked.
“Hm, let’s see. Did Dr. Gorgeous just ask you to run away with him?”
“SARAH!” she all but yelled into my ear. On second thought, it was a yell. Ouch!
“I guess that’s a no then. Okay, so what is your news?”
“I get to get out of this place for 3 whole hours on Saturday! Isn’t that wonderful?” she exclaimed.
“Yeah, it’s great. But why? I mean, boy that didn’t sound right, but is there a reason?”
She was giggling madly then and I pictured her there, sitting up and her face lit up with emotion. It was a wonderful image.
“Yes, I need to see how I can navigate around my house. This way they can see what, if any accommodations I will need when I leave here. So Mom and Dad and I are going out for lunch and then by my house to check things out. Isn’t that wonderful Sarah?”
“That is wonderful Cass. I wish I could be there. It sounds as if you must be doing really well, I mean for them to let you take this step?”
“Well, I can get around with a walker really well. I can handle a couple of steps too. It gets better everyday really. I can’t believe how quickly I am getting my strength back. Every day I feel better. I want to run, but of course that’s not happening – yet!”
“It won’t be long though Cass. I am just so happy for you and so proud of how hard you have worked!”
“Thank you Sarah. They said I have made amazing progress, far ahead of schedule. I guess this stubborn Irish streak in me has finally come in handy, huh?” she laughed.
“See, we always knew it would! So what does Dr. Gorgeous say about this?”
“He doesn’t know yet, I haven’t seen him today. I think it will please him though! Hey, you better not get married until I can dance at your wedding though!” she teased.
It was a sobering thought; my wedding. I never thought that would happen again! “Okay, it’s a deal!”
We talked about Texas, pretty much the same conversation I had with Mom and Dad and before I knew it, it was time for Cass to head off to her next therapy.
“I miss you Cass. I wish I were there with you.”
“Nah you don’t. You want to be there with Mr. Hunky Actor!” she laughed.
“Okay, okay. I want to be both places, alright?” I finally admitted. “Seriously, I do wish I was there too you know.”
“I know that. But I’m doing okay – I really am. Don’t be all gloomy, okay? Now, give Mr. Hunky Actor a kiss for me. See ya, Sarah.” Her voice broke just the tiniest bit, but it was okay. So did mine.
“Okay Cass. Bye.”
I finished my warm diet coke and headed back to the gallery to see where they were on the scene. It was the most interesting scene I had saw being filmed so far. Paul Hallenbach plays Adam’s older brother and it about an argument they have when the family receives a blackmail note about their grandfather. Their family is of the aristocracy in Great Britain and so could be harmed a great deal if it’s true that their grandfather was secretly a Nazi.
Paul and Adam play well together I thought and actually a couple of times the filming stopped when one of them messed their lines up and the other would start laughing. It was a great tension breaker after all the real yelling going on this morning. But even with all that happening, they were done by 5 o’clock and we were out of there.
Adam washed his makeup off at the studio because he doesn’t like going out with it on. It was still light out and I looked around me with interest as we drove past the other studio lots. There were mostly huge warehouse type buildings, off in the distance I could see what looked like a regular family neighborhood, which must surely be a set I thought. That would be an odd place for a neighborhood to be otherwise.
Off to the west, the sun was just disappearing behind the Texas skyline and was streaked with that beautiful shade of orange you find in places where there is a lot of dust in the atmosphere. Sort of the color of a blood orange, not quite orange, not quite red, not quite pink, but some marvelous combination that makes your breath catch in your throat.
We opted to go out to dinner tonight, in an effort to take our minds off of the stressful day. Adam had been to a good steak house in Dallas last week and he wanted to take me there. I teased him about it being one of those, ‘if you can eat this 72 ounce steak it’s yours free’ kind of places.
“No, it’s not,” he giggled. “But it is very good and I need to call and see if we can get a reservation." He called the Pappas Brothers Steakhouse and got us reservations for 8:00 so we would have enough time to get ready.
“What should I wear?” I asked, envisioning one of our ‘wear something comfortable’ talks.
“Knock yourself out. It’s not terribly fancy but you can wear some sexy little dress thing if you like. Did you bring the new one you wore on your birthday?”
“Yes, but I’m afraid it’s a bit cool for it. But I brought another one I think you’ll like,” I promised. “Now, let’s go and take a bath. I’m in the mood for bubbles!”
“I’ll smell like something sweet or girly,” he exclaimed.
I was already heading up the stairs, dropping a piece of clothing every couple of steps. At the top of the staircase I turned around and looked down at Adam; his mouth was hanging open and he was swallowing repeatedly. He was also heading for the stairs!
“Adam, does that nasal spray always make you so tired? It seems like it stops your sneezes great, but then you yawn for hours.”
“No, I’ve never noticed it doing that before. In fact it says specifically that it doesn’t cause drowsiness. Love, I think I’m just stressed over everything and not sleeping well. I really am sorry.”
“Adam, you have nothing to be sorry about. It’s not your fault and it’s also no wonder you aren’t resting well. But,” I said, my eyes twinkling brightly, “We have had a little ‘stress relief’ this evening and I know we needed that! Both of us.”
I decided to wear the red dress I had taken with me to California. It travels well and is dressy, but not too much. And it’s a red toward the orange range, in other words more tomato as opposed to cherry. I thought the opals would go nicely with it and I was right, they looked wonderful. I pinned my hair up with a gold barrette and let it fall in curls and I was standing in front of the mirror when Adam walked up behind me and rested his hands on my shoulders as his eyes gazed at mine through the mirror.
“Sarah, you are beautiful.” Our eyes held the look for a moment and I saw raw
desire spark in his eyes once again as he looked at me. My eyes were answering with a longing of their own. He lifted a wayward strand of my hair and bent to softly kiss my neck where it had lain. I exhaled a soft sigh and bent my neck to allow him more access. His lips slowly made the journey upwards to my ear and he kissed that delicate spot with just the tip of his tongue which brought a delightful shiver up my spine.
I really didn’t care if we went to dinner but I felt sure he did. Maybe he was hungry or just wanted to get out and put the day out of his mind; I couldn’t tell. But the longer we stood there the more likely we were to not go to dinner and I decided I needed to make a move.
I turned around and stood on tip toes and lightly kissed him and fussed with his tie before saying, “C’mon, let’s go get that steak!”
I grabbed my black jacket out of the closet and grabbed my purse and we climbed into the car to go. It wasn’t too far away, considering this was Dallas and it is spread out all over everywhere. Inside, the restaurant was lovely, richly decorated with lots of natural woods. We were immediately shown to a small, secluded room with only two other tables in it and only one of them had someone at it.
The menu was surprisingly short, but after I ate I realized they specialized in quality of their dishes as opposed to quantity of their dishes. I choose a small filet (which was still way too big), a Caesar salad, and fresh asparagus. Adam chose the large rib eye, Caesar salad, the asparagus, sautéed mushrooms and told me to wait until I saw the dessert menu. I groaned in anticipation.
Adam chose several wines from the extensive wine list and then we sat and chatted while we waited for the first wine and salad. I could see the lines start to smooth out of his face as we put the day behind us. We didn’t talk about it; personally I had no need to, but I would have if he needed to. It was miserable, we both knew that. Rachel had made an ass out of herself and we weren’t the only ones to think so. She had tried to make a point; that she was the one in control and she had failed utterly. I didn’t feel happy about that because I figured she would only keep trying to make her point in other ways and I dreaded what those ways might be. But the choices she had made today were her own and there was no one to blame but herself. They were terribly poor choices and I knew she had to recognize that.
I was enjoying the atmosphere at the restaurant; it was cozy, romantic really. It was quiet enough so that we could talk in a soft tone of voice and hear one another easily. The soft glowing light from the candles on the tables lent an intimate ambiance to the small room. I watched the candlelight flicker in Adams chocolate brown eyes as he took a drink of his wine and I could readily see the love in them for me. I hoped he knew how much I adored him and loved him; I could no longer imagine my world without him in it.
They brought out steaks and vegetables and they were done perfectly. I have heard the saying ‘steak that melts in your mouth’ but I have never had any until now. This one did. Adam forked one of his mushrooms and held it out to me to try. It was incredible I thought, just like everything else we were eating. The asparagus was remarkable and I wished I could have eaten all of my dinner, but it was just too big. Adams steak of course was huge and he did finish it and still wanted dessert. But when I saw the choices I knew I had to have some. I got the cheesecake and Adam got the Moon Pie. We split them and they were to die for, achingly rich and decadent, we managed to eat every bite.
It was a little after 10:00 when we got back home. We crawled into bed and held each other close, and while there was more kissing and cuddling, our passions stayed banked due to the exhaustion of the day and we fell asleep quickly because we both knew that the alarm would call us away from our dreams all too soon.
Luckily there was air conditioning in the building and I was told it works good; a fact that I was very appreciative about. But still the thought of one more day hanging around the set didn’t thrill me; the charm had totally worn off. Today’s scenes did involve Rachel as luck would have it, but there were no more love scenes to film and I was so thankful for that.
Mostly Rachel just seemed to keep to herself, much like she did the day at the set in Italy. William Richards played a cousin of Adam’s character and other than in Italy, this was the first scene I had seen him in.
He is definitely one of those youngish heartthrobs; blonde hair, clear blue eyes and a build to make a girls heart go pit-a-pat. He was so sweet and charming, sexy and he just totally sizzles on camera. And he is so totally gay. I had the opportunity to chat with him for a long while before his scene and I had a really nice time with him.
The character he plays is really a bad guy and as I looked at him, I just couldn’t see how he would pull it off. But as they went through the scene, he absolutely did. He was horrifying in fact.
The way they do movies amazes me; they don’t do them sequentially which makes no sense to me. Well, I guess sometimes they do but not often. Usually they are staged to meet the time requirements for people, places and events which makes sense if you think about it.
This scene is almost the end of the movie, as his character is revealed for its evil intentions and as I watched, I decided I was happy to be there today. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Rachel’s character dies in that scene either! But the most amazing thing about it was, the family had been under a huge mistaken assumption; that being that the grandfather had been a Nazi. That was totally wrong; it turned out to be the grandmother! So when that movie comes out, the audience will spend 95% of the movie thinking evil thoughts about the grandfather (who is dead) and then it will turn out to be the grandmother, who is very much alive. Talk about a plot twist!
I guess that shows that things aren’t always what they seem.
The day passed easily which was a welcome surprise. Before I knew it lunch was ready and Krista brought it into Adam’s dressing room for us.
“Krista, we are capable of getting our own lunch you know,” I said to her. It didn’t seem right that someone brought it to us.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said. “Would you rather someone else brought it?” Her face looked scared suddenly - vulnerable, like a child who had done something wrong and I immediately felt bad. The intention had been to let her know we weren’t helpless, not that there was something wrong with her.
“Krista no, that’s not what I meant,” I said, trying to choose the right words. “It’s just, you or anyone else doesn’t have to wait on us.”
“Oh no, it’s not a problem. Adam works hard, well they all do and so we try to help them be able to relax on their breaks.”
“Okay, well just remember it’s alright if you can’t do it.”
I looked over at Adam who was studying the script. Some changes had been made before lunch and I guessed he was trying to learn them. I couldn’t imagine how he did it; here Krista and I were talking and he just manages to tune us out so completely. I looked at her, standing there by the door and laughed.
“Sometimes he is such great company,” I chuckled. “Why don’t you grab a tray and come and keep me company Krista?” I asked, definitely feeling like a peace offering was called for.
“Would – uh do you mind?” she asked hesitantly.
“No, not at all. I’ll wait for you.”
She left then and I looked over at Adam, still buried in the script. I wordlessly took his plate off the tray and sat it in front of him and then opened his bottle of water and sat it down as well. He looked up at me briefly and smiled and then said, “Um love, I’m not very good company right now I know. Sorry, I’ve got to get these lines memorized.”
I leaned over and kissed his cheek and picked up my plate and water and went over and sat down on the couch to wait for Krista. She came back quickly and at her knock I told her to come in. She opened the door and poked her head in cautiously; as if afraid I had changed my mind.
“Come on in Krista and have a seat. I don’t think he even knows we are here,” I told her, indicating Adam. I took a bite of my sandwich and chewed for a moment, wondering what to talk to her about.
“I really don’t know how they do it,” she said watching Adam. She followed his every move it seemed, watching him take a bite and then lay the sandwich back down. Maybe that was a director kind of thing, being so observant. “I could never do that; I don’t think I would even want to. My memory just isn’t that good!” she laughed.
“That’s sad Krista,” giggling along with her. “You’re so young. You usually don’t start forgetting things until you’re much older!”
“Yeah, I kind of hoped I’d be like my Grandma, she remembers everything, literally. She is amazing.”
“You sound like you love her a great deal,” I said before taking another bite. “Was your mom like her or like you?”
“I – I don’t know. She, uh, died when I was two, so I don’t remember her. Not really anyway. Sometimes I think I maybe remember something, a smell maybe, but then its gone. I wish I could remember her though. My Grandma says she loved me a lot. She also says I look a lot like her, but I don’t think so really. She loved music and played the guitar. Grandma says she used to sing to me every night, but I don’t remember that either.” She had a far off look, a sad reflection of someplace in her head and my heart went out to her then.
“How about your dad? Did you know him?”
“No, I never knew him either. Grandma said he uh, never wanted me. When she told him that she was pregnant he told my mother that I was her problem and not to bother him. It would have meant so much to just know him. He – he didn’t have to love me, but I wanted to know him Sarah. But he never even gave me a chance, just left us all alone.”
I reached out and took her hand then, trying to find the right words to say to her. She looked at me with huge wounded eyes that were shimmering with unshed tears and one finally slipped down and slowly made its way down her pale cheek. She was biting her lower lip and I could see how much she was hurting. I thought back to my own childhood, all the happy times with my family and I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to grow up as she did, her mother dead and her father not wanting her. Thank God she had her grandparents.
“Krista, I’m so sorry I asked about him. I never meant to cause you pain by asking you that question. That was horrible of him; I can’t imagine the kind of man who would do that,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief. At least my ex had been around; but then if you listen to Lissa, maybe that wasn’t the best thing. After hearing her the other day he might as well have not been. It made me wonder how much hurt my kids carried around and it also made me wonder how I had ignored it all these years. When a marriage is bad, sometimes it seems like the best thing to do – stay together for the kids, but that’s not always best. I saw that clearly now as I never had before. But the truth was, would I have left sooner had I known this then? I’ll never really know.
She was shaking her head. “No, you didn’t know. It’s okay, really. I keep thinking that someday I’ll get used to it, to knowing that he never wanted me, never even wanted to meet me, to – to see what I looked like or if I was a good baby or anything.”
Suddenly Adam was there by us, squatting in front of Krista. He reached out and took her hand and said, “Krista, the problem wasn’t you, the problem was him. He wasn’t man enough to be a father and that is his loss. You did nothing but pay the price for his careless disregard and neglect.” He took his finger and lifted her chin up so he could look into her teary eyes. “You are wonderful and the truth is that he will never even know how wonderful.”
She bravely met his eyes for a moment and then tears started to fall silently and she jumped up and ran from the room.
Adam and I looked at one another and shook our heads. We each felt rotten. Not that we had done anything wrong, but it is awful to feel someone’s heartache and not be able to help. I leaned back against the couch and said, “Oh Adam, I feel so bad for her and I don’t know how to help.”
“Sometimes there isn’t anything you can do. But this was a surprisingly vulnerable side to Krista. Maybe we have been too hard on her.”
I nodded my head in agreement and then Sunni knocked on the door and told Adam he was needed on the set in 5 minutes. He sat down on the couch next to me and we had a lovely little ‘snog’ for those few precious minutes and we both wore a smile when we left the dressing room.
The rest of the day went quickly and filming was again finished by 5:00. And the good news was that Adam didn’t have to be in to the studio tomorrow until afternoon. We could sleep in…or something!
We decided to just go home and fix some dinner there and relax. We were both looking forward to it. We held hands on the way home in the car and as our fingers touched and explored each others hands, I had the idea that dinner might be delayed a bit.
And that was perfectly all right with me!
By the time we got home, we were almost racing each other to get into the house. As soon as the door was closed we were in each others arms, our mouths passionately locked in a delightful duel.
He swept me up in his arms and carried me up the stairs. Blindly we made our way to the bedroom because neither of us wanted to pull our mouths away from the others and he toed the bedroom door open and reached for the wall until he finally found the light switch and turned it on.
The light was brilliant and I blinked for a moment before something caught my eye, on the bed.
And then I screamed.