A Story of Love Ch. 01byrupert_ravenclaw©
Scarlett Johansson was bored. She was more bored than she had ever been in her entire life. What she was doing wasn't supposed to be boring, but she was still bored. She was at a very elegant party in one of New York's finest hotels. It was still early in the evening and Scarlett's only hope for a more interesting night seemed to be the drink she was nursing.
Scarlett would rather be outside in the crisp winter evening, but she had promised her agent that she would attend this party. It was a very important party, with a lot of important people from the industry. Unfortunately most of them seemed to be stuffy older men. Scarlett had stated once that she liked older men, but none of the men she had been thinking about were around.
Instead she was stuck here with a fat assistant producer who went on and on about all the movies he had been involved with. Scarlett thought that most of the movies he mentioned were over-hyped and crappy, but she used her skill as an actress to fake interest. The man seemed to be unable to keep his eyes off of Scarlett's chest so he didn't notice that she let her eyes wander the room in search of something a bit more interesting.
She looked out through the windows and into the cold winter evening. It had been 2006 for a few weeks now, but Scarlett didn't think it felt any different from 2005. She really didn't believe that a new year would mean anything different, but she hoped for something new. She had learned that fame and fortune lose some of their appeal this winter and she felt a need for something more. She definitely wanted more than this conversation.
Scarlett had come to this party together with her co-star in the Nanny Diaries Alicia Keys. Scarlett looked over to Alicia and saw that she was stuck in an equally boring conversation. She was talking to one of the more overrated directors in Hollywood. At least he was in Scarlett's opinion. She thought that his only strength was that he was a friend of George Clooney. Scarlett let her thoughts drift away to the hunky actor for a while.
The thoughts of George Clooney eased some of Scarlett's boredom, but they didn't help for long. She again let her eyes scan the room in pursuit of something interesting and this time she was lucky. The party had just started so guests were arriving all the time. Scarlett locked eyes with one of the new arrivals: she was a brunette in a stylish black dress. The girl fired off a warm smile and Scarlett responded in kind. Scarlett had instantly recognised Jena Malone.
Jena had briefly attended the Professional Children's School in Manhattan which was a school that Scarlett had gone to as well. They had never really gotten to know each other closely, but they did talk at events and parties like this.
Scarlett immediately realised how beautiful Jena was. The dress was very tight and it showed a generous amount of cleavage. Scarlett felt as though Jena's presence immediately lit up the room. All thoughts of George Clooney quickly evaporated as Scarlett watched Jena make her way through the room. Scarlett knew that she had to be close to Jena right now. Scarlett excused herself from the assistant producer and made her way through the crowd and over to Jena.
Jena had arrived with a group of people who Scarlett didn't know. Scarlett and Jena greeted each other and Jena then went on to introduce the rest of the people in her group: they were Jena's co starts in the play Doubt. Scarlett shook their hands and repeated their names to herself, but deep down she didn't really care. It wasn't like she had anything against them it was just that she was somewhat tired of old people at the moment.
Scarlett was determined to have a good time. After some obligatory small talk with the older actors she managed to get Jena away from the group. Scarlett had finished off her first drink so she swiped a new one and gave one to Jena as well.
"I'm so glad to see you. I was dying from boredom among these people." Scarlett whispered into Jena's ear.
"That bad huh?" Jena whispered back
"Ohhh. Yes. I don't understand how people can be so dull when they work in such a glamorous industry."
"I know what you mean. I really don't like things like this, but I had a hard time saying no to the other cast members." Jena whispered.
"My agent forced me to be here. I have to 'network,' as he says."
Scarlett made citation marks in the air and made it perfectly clear that she didn't like the term. This was too much business talk for Scarlett.
"Look at the bright side. There is free food and liquor." Jena said with a smile.
She emphasised this by picking up an hors d'oevre from a nearby table.
They spent the next few minutes discussing their current projects and colleagues. Jena had just started in the critically acclaimed and very serious play Doubt and Scarlett was back in her home town to film "The Nanny Diaries". They also went on for a while about the latest gossip in Hollywood. Jena wasn't as in to the Hollywood scene as Scarlett was, but she listened intently as Scarlett gave her all the details. It was the same kind of small talk they had shared before, but it was clear that the two young actresses were enjoying each others company.
After a while Scarlett saw Alicia coming over. Apparently she had managed to get away from the pretentious director. Scarlett was glad for her sake. No one deserved to be stuck with that man for too long. Alicia wasn't as good at pretending to be interested as Scarlett and the relief in her face was obvious.
"Glad to see that you managed to break free, Alicia" Scarlett said with a sympathetic smile on her lips.
"Yeah. He was indeed very interesting and not at all pompous." Alicia answered.
She said this in a tone that made it perfectly clear that she meant exactly the opposite of what she said. Alicia and Jena had never met and Scarlett took it upon herself to introduce them. Soon all three girls were chatting happily amongst themselves. The three of them had a very good time before they were interrupted: it was Scarlett's agent who had a list of people that Scarlett just had to talk to.
Scarlett reluctantly followed and spoke to the people she was introduced to. She kept a smile on her face and nodded when she had to, but her thoughts were elsewhere. The people just kept coming and Scarlett felt her boredom increase. It felt like hours as she was led around the party by her agent. She felt like a helpless child being led around and introduced to dull relatives. There were so many remarkably boring people in Hollywood and it seemed as if Scarlett had to talk to all of them tonight.
She kept telling herself that this was something she had to do, but it was no good. One more boring Hollywood person would make her head explode. Scarlett was hoping that her agent would let her talk to someone interesting for once, when she saw that her agent actually led her to doom. She was without a doubt being led towards that balding, scrawny, pretentious director that had tortured Alicia earlier in the evening.
Scarlett felt as though her soul was being sucked into a deep black void of nothingness and despair. It was somewhat of an over dramatization of course, but Scarlett sure as hell didn't feel good about the prospect of talking to this man. He had made the most dreadfully boring movies and he had a tendency to talk about them a lot with a mind numbingly boring voice. Scarlett tried to think about something to say to her agent to avoid talking to the boring director, but her mind had frozen.
Scarlett's ruthless agent led her closer and closer to the director and was just about to introduce the two when a true Hollywood miracle occurred. The fair lady was saved from certain doom in the last possible second. Jena Malone suddenly blocked the road for Scarlett and her agent. With a dazzling smile on her face, she asked the agent if she could borrow Scarlett for a while. Without waiting for an answer she took Scarlett's hand and led her away from the danger and to a quiet corner.
Scarlett followed her instinct and thanked her saviour with a hug. It was a light friendly hug, but Scarlett couldn't help to think that it felt good. She didn't dwell on it though; instead she let her curiosity take charge.
"How did you know that I desperately wanted to get away from him?"
"Well. It was simple really. I remembered your comment from earlier and I saw the look of dread on your face as your agent led you towards him. I didn't think I could let you suffer like that."
"I'm so glad you did. I might actually have lost my soul then and there if you hadn't saved me."
"I could never leave a lady in danger." Jena said theatrically
She also bowed for Scarlett and kissed her on the hand in the manner of an old-fashioned knight. Scarlett couldn't contain her giggles as she observed Jena's antics. A few people around them looked strangely at Jena, but were too polite to comment.
"My agent is going to be so pissed about this." Scarlett said between giggles.
"Blame me then, he's not my agent. Besides, you're his boss, not the other way around. It's not like you're going to out of work anyway."
"I guess you're right. So have you met anyone interesting here?"
"I actually had quite a good time with my colleagues from the play. They're genuine people you know." Jena said with emphasis.
"I didn't know there were nice people here. I thought everyone here was a demon who thrives on sucking the lust to live out of people"
Scarlett whispered this with an impish grin on her face and this caused Jena to start giggling. Scarlett tried to hush Jena, but this only made the problem worse. Scarlett didn't want any more attention drawn to her so she gently took Jena's hand and pulled her into the deserted hallway. Scarlett's nervous behaviour only made Jena laugh more so Scarlett had to put a finger to Jena's mouth.
Jena fell silent and they had a moment in which they just looked at each other. They were both a tad tipsy by now and for some reason they just froze up when they looked at each other. Scarlett's finger stayed on Jena's mouth for much longer than necessary and it wasn't until several long seconds later that she realised this and removed it. As soon as Scarlett had removed her finger, Jena seemed to regain focus and control.
"Let's get the hell out of here, you and me."
"What? We can't just leave."
"There is one relevant question here Scarlett. Would you like to hang out with me?"
"Yes of course, but I have to be at this party."
"No you don't Scarlett. Trust me. You need to relax and have some fun. Do you think I'm fun and relaxing?"
"Yes I do, but..."
"That's all I need to hear," Jena interrupted
Jena led Scarlett over to the coats. Before Scarlett had a chance to protest Jena had asked for and received both of their coats. Scarlett knew that she was supposed to stay at that stupid party, but she felt like she had nothing to put up against Jena's apparent strong will. Jena led Scarlett through the foyer of the hotel and out into the crisp winter evening. It was only when they stood there on the curb that Scarlett spoke up.
"I have to be at that party. I have to..."
Scarlett was at a loss of what to say next. She was used to letting her agent handle her career and she didn't want to cause trouble, so she always did as she was told. Jena knew that Scarlett would need some convincing to leave the party.
"Relax Scarlett. Obviously you didn't like it in there. Now if you don't like it how do you think that you are going to make a good impression on people? And besides if they are people who you can't even stand to talk to at a party, why would you want to work with them?" Scarlett thought about Jena's arguments for a while and realised that she made sense. She looked at Jena and saw how she was bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Jena had a playful yet determined look on her face. That look was what finally convinced Scarlett. She felt that an evening with Jena would be worth it. It wasn't like Scarlett to leave a party like this early, but she was eager to break her normal routine.
"Ok, I'm just going to go back in there and tell Alicia that I'm leaving."
Scarlett went back into the party and told Alicia that she had to leave. Alicia was in an animated conversation with a well known comedian and actor.
"Hi Jack, Hi Alicia. Sorry to budge in, but I have to tell you that I'm leaving. Is it okay with you?"
"Yeah sure. It seems like you and Jena really hit it off huh?" Alicia answered.
"Oh yes. She single-handedly saved from certain doom and now she has somehow convinced me to leave and go do something fun. I don't want to leave you hanging though. Are you sure it's okay?"
"Of course. What are you two crazy fugitives going to do?"
"Don't know. We'll think of something."
"If you don't know what you're going to do, I know of a place."
Alicia fished out a calling card from her purse and gave it to Scarlett.
"It is a small jazz club. I played there a few times before I became famous. It is a very cool place. It is one of those places you can only find in New York. A nice mixture of interesting people and great music. I promise that you'll love it even if you're not that much into jazz."
"Thanks Alicia, We'll think about it." Scarlett said with a smile.
Scarlett took the card, even though she didn't feel like going out tonight. She had been harassed by paparazzi and fans more and more these days and that had greatly diminished her will to go out. Scarlett said good bye too Jack and Alicia and went back out to Jena who was waiting just outside the entrance.
"So, what you wanna do then?" Scarlett asked with a more nervous voice than she intended.
"I dunno, something fun. Let's go to some fun club somewhere. You're from here right? You must know some place."
"Yeah, I guess, but I don't know if I want to. People always recognize me these days. I'm tired of that. I just want to have some fun without having to worry about the paparazzi and stuff."
Jena took a moment to think and then her face lit up.
"I've got it. I know what we're going to do. Just trust me Ok?"
Scarlett had no idea what this girl who she barely knew was up to, but she was curious to find out. There was something genuine and real about this girl and Scarlett had never met anyone like her before. She was in the mood for adventure and if that was what Jena wanted, Scarlett was happy to go along for the ride. Jena hailed a cab and they both got in. Jena gave the address and off they went. Scarlett didn't recognise the address immediately and Jena insisted on not telling.
"What is this idea of yours? Please tell me."
"No, you'll have to wait till we get there." Jena said with smug grin on her face.
"Please. Pretty please."
Scarlett did her best big doe eyes pouty lips routine, but Jena just giggled and shook her head.
"Look Scarlett. I promise that one little visit to where we are going is going to solve all our problems and make sure that we have a fun evening."
Scarlett thought about what Jena had said for a moment and then a horrible thought struck her.
"We're not buying drugs are we?" Scarlett asked with a shocked look on her face.
Jena burst onto another big laugh as she answered.
"No, silly. This is perfectly safe and legal; no drugs. I promise."
That guarantee made Scarlett feel a bit better but the curiosity was still eating her up on the inside. She wasn't normally the girl who went on adventures like this, but Jena sure seemed to have an effect on her.
"Can you at least give me a hint?"
"Okay. I guess. Let's see. We are going to do something that we're both are good at."
Scarlett started to think about what Jena had said, but she could make no sense of it. She was just about to ask Jena again when the cab stopped. Jena paid the driver and dragged Scarlett with her towards the back entrance of one of the buildings. Jena fished a key out of her purse and opened the door and deactivated the alarm. She took a hold of Scarlett's hand and led her through a few corridors until they suddenly stood on a stage.
"This is the theatre where you work right now, right? What are we going to do here?"
"You'll see." Jena said.
She again grabbed Scarlett's hand and led her through a few more corridors. The place was completely deserted, but that didn't seem to bother Jena. She stopped at one big steel door and took out another key from her purse. She unlocked the door and opened it ceremoniously for Scarlett.
Scarlett looked into the room and what she saw amazed her. It all made sense now. Jena had taken her to the costume room. She walked into the room and tried to take it all in. The room was filled with all kinds of clothes, wigs and accessories. An entire wall was dedicated to wigs. Jena and Scarlett went over to it and took off their coats.
"Wow. This is amazing." Scarlett said.
"Yeah. They got all kinds of things here. We can borrow whatever we want and dress up. No one will recognise us and we can have fun without worrying." Jena said with a proud smile on her face.
Scarlett thought that was a brilliant idea and started to look through the wigs. She found a black wig with a punk haircut and put it on. Jena doubled over in laughter. Scarlett threw it to Jena and let her try it on. She did so and it provoked a similar response from Scarlett.
"How about we find something that we can actually wear in public?" Jena said.
The two girls went on trying on wigs in all colours and styles. They had a good time doing it and they did all kinds of impressions while doing it. Scarlett had to admit that Jena was much better at impressions. Jena did an excellent Condoleezza Rice and a very good Elaine from Seinfeld. Scarlett at least managed to pull off an acceptable Marge Simpson, by using the only blue wig in the room.
After some serious consideration they had both settled for wigs. Scarlett had put on a black wig similar to Uma Thurman's in Pulp Fiction. Jena had decided to be a red head for the evening. The hair went about half way down her back and reminded Scarlett of an early Willow from Buffy the vampire Slayer.
"Are we ready to go now?" Scarlett asked.
Jena let here eyes wander up and down Scarlett's body. Scarlett became nervous under Jena's gaze. Did Jena just check her out?
"We have to get you out of that dress" Jena exclaimed.
Scarlett blinked and tried to comprehend what Jena just had said. Before Scarlett had a chance to ask, Jena went on.
"If we're going incognito, we can't be wearing these expensive dresses, we have to find something else."
"Oh. I see. Good point. What about the dresses we're wearing now. "
"We can leave them here and come back for them in the morning. Now follow me and I will show you the dresses."
Scarlett walked behind Jena as they went over to the dresses and skirts. There were hundreds of different dresses to choose from. They could have chosen to be anything from nuns to hookers. One dress caught Jena's attention. It was a frilly white dress that was very similar to a dress she had worn in Pride and Prejudice. Jena turned her back to Scarlett and asked for Scarlett to unzip her dress. Scarlett was a tad surprised by the sudden request but did as she was asked.
Jena slipped out of her dress and put it aside. Scarlett kept looking at the dresses in front of, her, but couldn't help to take a peek at Jena's slim body. Jena was wearing matching black panties and bra. The undergarments contrasted to Jena's pale skin and Scarlett couldn't help but think that it was a nice sight. She tried to shake those thoughts though and kept focusing on finding a dress to wear. Jena put on the dress she had found and asked Scarlett what she thought.
"Aww. You look so cute." Scarlett blurted out.