Hold the Roses

by

M. Malcomb Moore

Cast of characters:

Julie, played by Ann, played by Yvonne Beacon

Tom, played B. Ryan Hall

Steve, played by Jimmy Beacon

          “Ohhhhhhhhhh, mmmmmmmmm,” Julie squirmed and moaned as Tom massaged her naked back with the cashmere gloves he had sewn for the purpose.

          “So you like that, huh?” Tom whispered.

          “Like it, like it? I’m melting, Tom.” she sighed with a breathless crescendo.

          “I have another surprise for you, love. I’ll be right back. You just keep melting,” he invited as he slid off the satin sheets to find the floor with his feet.

          Without looking Tom’s foot made a perfect landing in the waste basket containing the cut stems from the bouquet of roses he had given her moments before. Thorns attacked his misplaced foot like ants in a sugar bowl.

          “Ahhh,” he screamed, dancing on one foot, attempting to free his well lodged appendage from its pain.  Tripping over his own shoes he lunged for the dresser hitting the fresh vase of roses which flew off the dresser baptizing Julie with cold water and her lovely red roses.  Tom’s balance eluded him as he stumbled backwards falling through the open window taking the mini-blinds with him, rolling down the awning and finally landing belly flop into the pool below.

          Julie’s laughter was beyond control. “Tom?” she finally guffawed, holding her stomach. “What did you do?” she laughed while searching the window for her allusive lover.

          “CUT!” interrupted the director as he entered the set with Julie’s robe. “We’ll do it again in thirty, reset.”

          “Damnit, Steve, why does it have to be so cold in here? How am I supposed to be melting when I have goose bumps for God’s sake? Ann scolded as she yanked her robe from Steve’s hand to cover her exposed torso. “And whatever happened to the closed set? Who the hell are all those people?”

          “We talked about that, Ann, remember? Today is the day for the film class from UCSB and,” he whispered pulling her close, “two producers from FOX. What’s wrong? This isn’t like you to be so reactionary.”

          “Reactionary, huh? You want reactionary? I’ll show you reactionary!” Ann screamed as tears of anger began streaming down her face. Gathering up as many roses as she could find she began whipping Steve across the head with her thorny weapon.

          “Stop it, Ann,” he pleaded, protecting his face as he backed up. “This is about last night, isn’t it? Look, I told you Ann, STOP HITTING ME,” Steve begged, interrupting his own explanation, “I told you when we started seeing each other that I am not a one woman man. You said you could handle that. What’s with all this attitude?”

          “Then why, Mr. Big Ass Director, did you say you loved me?” Ann nagged with all the cynicism she could muster, throwing the roses at his feet.

          Steve looked at Ann’s wet cheeks, swallowed hard and, after a long silence confessed, “because I was afraid.”

          “Afraid? And what the hell were you afraid of, the big commitment monster?” she snapped.

          “It’s hard for me to say, Ann,” he replied softly, “because for the first time, ah, you know what, forget it. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you to get hurt.”

          Now confused she persisted. “No, you don’t get off that easy. I want to hear this.”

          Steve sighed and took a step to walk away.

          She took his arm holding him in place. “No, c’mon, you can do this. Talk to me. At least give me some closure on this.”

          He looked into her eyes. “I don’t know how you do this, Ann. You are the only woman who has been able to see beyond the games I play and with walls I build. You have like x-ray vision or something and I don’t like feeling this vulnerable.”

          “So you run away and jump in the sack with some other bitch? Is that your defense mechanism?”

          “I guess. I want to run away from you and toward you at the same time. I’ve always been a control freak of my feelings, always able to play the Mr. Cool director macho thing, but that doesn’t work with you. I don’t know, Ann, you have me off balance here. What am I going to do with you?”

          “I don’t know, Steve,” she said with an uncertain confidence, “what are you going to do with me?”

          They looked into each other’s eyes, embraced as their lips became one. Stage and camera crews filled the room with applause and cheering.

          “CUT, PRINT, THAT’S A WRAP!”  the director barked. “Great job, everyone. Five A.M. call for scene five tomorrow. Jimmy, Yvonne, amazing, just amazing, you guys are so good together. No one could play Steve and Ann more passionately.

          “Thanks,” they offered in unison.

          Yvonne rested her head on Jimmy’s shoulder as they walked arm in arm toward their trailer. “I love you, Mrs. Beacon,” he whispered.

          “And I love you right back, Mr. Beacon,” Yvonne said, winking. “Why don’t we try those cashmere gloves tonight, but let’s hold the roses.”  

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