Hurricane Ch. 02byc8er2u©
"Yes?" He said, his voice betraying his agitation.
"Well that doesn't sound like the voice of someone who just wrapped on a blockbuster, now does it?"
Alejandro released a deep sigh. It was Winston Montgomery his agent. He, of course, was about as caring as a hornet's nest.
"Tell that to Greg and his faulty bomb squad. They nearly killed me Win, and that does not make a very happy client."
The phone went silent.
"Don't worry about that I'll handle it. You just make your way down town; meet me at red by nine. I have a car service on the way to get you, before you make any excuses."
Alejandro smiled. This man knew him well.
"There is no need for a car service. I'll meet you there no problem I have a ride waiting outside for me right now. Until then my friend."
He hit end and tossed the phone on the bed. Quickly, he dressed himself in a white t-shirt and jeans. As he passed the mirror, he realized he had changed. Jeans three years ago? Not on your life. Today? He wore what made him feel good.
He walked out of the trailer past the rambunctious staff celebrating the film they'd all worked so hard on. Someone had burst out singing "Alejandro" by lady gaga and he took that as his cue to leave. Not much good came from sleep deprivation, alcohol, and Gaga; nothing good at all. He was making a beeline to Sean reasoning to himself that he was just going to hitch a ride back into the city with her and that it didn't mean anything. It's not that he couldn't find another way back in, Winston had only seconds ago offered a ride, but he felt like he had to investigate this situation that had been presented to him. When would he ever get the opportunity to explore this any other time? To ask the woman he once saw his life with, why she didn't feel like fighting for it? Or maybe it was just the fact that they were both seemingly brand new people. Maybe he had to find out why he couldn't release her. Why even after so much had changed, after his life had completely changed she was still a part of it. No matter how hard he tried to dispel her. Was it because he didn't get the closure he wanted? Was it because it was too abrupt?
He needed answers and the only person who could provide them was leaning against that gorgeous car, the flare of her hips exaggerated by her relaxed position making them appear even shapelier. Her hands, however, twiddled nervously betraying her true feelings about being alone with him and as he strode towards her he wondered if he should be feeling the same.
"Keys," he stated. His hand was stretched out towards her and he could feel the hard expression on his face.
She paused and seemed to consider it. He again remained in the same position; hand extended to her until she reached around and retrieved the keys from the ignition. She placed the keys in his hand careful not to touch him and that angered him further.
"Move," he said sounding like a caveman even to himself. She again complied rounding the vehicle to the passenger side. As he opened the door he took a deep breath to calm himself. Big mistake. Once again her scent bombarded him and relentless memories of times long gone flooded his mind. He sat and tightly gripped the steering wheel as he looked off into the distance at the almost setting sun. Collecting himself, he slammed the door and revved the engine getting a feel for the car. He could feel her watching him. Her curious eyes pouring over him and he refused to give in and meet them. Instead he peeled out towards the main road, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake. Her head snapped back against the head rest and she gripped the seat in trepidation. She never spoke a word but he knew she was scared and a satisfied grin crept over his face. He shifted gears and sped up even more.
He was entering dangerous territory but it was as if someone else had taken control of him. He could see she was afraid, it was pouring from her in waves and he was waiting. He geared up again and the speed increased on the deserted two lane stretch of road. He glanced at her and saw her jaw clenched. She was staring straight ahead and he considered drifting into oncoming traffic. He looked at the speedometer and saw he was doing 165 in a 90 mile zone.
"Please stop this Lee."
It was a whisper and he was surprised he'd heard it over the cars' engine but he had. His hand was on the gear shift and he was slowing down without even realizing it.
As the twosome entered Red, Alejandro pondered how to introduce Sean. He couldn't exactly call her a friend when he held nothing but contempt for the woman. He really didn't want to call her his ex because he felt it was giving her a power she didn't deserve. Or maybe it's because they never really had closure. Either way he knew there was little more than civility between them and although they most definitely weren't together or anything close to it, there was something about knowing she was the woman that created the womanizer he was today. That's why he's kept her around becau-
"Who the hell is this?"
Winston interrupted his thoughts effectively pinning him against a wall with his question.
Alejandro watched as his agent regarded Sean for the briefest of moments before returning to his conversation on his ever present blackberry. He knew without a doubt that this man had in mere seconds undressed, fucked, married, divorced and fucked Sean again for good measure.
He turned to Sean and watched as she regarded the opulence that was Red. White linen on every table, dark wood flooring vaulted ceilings with a mosaic of artwork so stunning Michelangelo himself would be envious. All of this had become second nature to him in time gone by and in recent times as well. As they approached the table he almost pulled out her chair for her. Old habits die hard. He sat across from Winston giving Sean the opportunity to plop her behind wherever the hell she saw fit. He tried not to watch her. Not to notice how she slid into her seat with such grace and shuffled her seat forward to the table on her own. He wished she hadn't worn that damn perfume and exactly why the hell was she back again?
"Excuse me José, most people find it rude if you stare. By the way I've introduced myself to your friend here during your little intermission."
The way Winston spoke was an art form. He somehow managed machine gun speed with clarity.
There was something about the way he said her name as if there was some familiarity, and entitlement. He couldn't help the bristling reaction even as he chastised himself. Winston said everything with a sense of entitlement, names included. He glanced at Sean and saw her polite half smile and watched her jaw twitch. A telltale sign she was uncomfortable. Good. What the hell was she doing here in the first place? Alejandro could feel Winston's eyes darting back and forth between the two of them as if he were watching a high intensity tennis match.
"How exactly do you two know each other? You know what, never mind. Doesn't matter. What matters is that you've wrapped this project and we're gonna move full steam ahead to the next. I got screenplays stacked on my desk like Tony Montana had cocaine."
Alejandro cocked an eyebrow.
"Have you read any of them?"
"Are you kidding me? That's what interns are for! They find the good ones, and I have them read em to me while I burn calories."
He watched as his agent glanced suggestively at Sean.
"Tell you what you wanna burn some calories a little later I got a room at the Ramada inn sweetheart, all the sausage you can take. Excuse me bud," Winston said as he waved over the bus boy clearing a nearby table. "You mind taking our order here? I'm starving!"
Alejandro glanced to Sean who was all out mad and biting her tongue. He decided to speak up.
"Winston, watch your damn mouth. You're a happily married man for Christ's sake!"
"Married yes, happily? That's up for debate. What about you? Flaunting your southern hospitality when you know how Rosalinda gets."
There it was. The true evidence that he'd moved on. He wondered how she'd took the news, and as he'd once again glanced at her out the corner of his eye he spotted the topic of their conversation making her way over to them. He felt his heart beat loudly in his chest as he wondered how this would play out. Strangely, even through the hurt he felt fear and apprehension and he realized it was because deep down he didn't want to hurt Sean. Rosalinda had her eyes locked on his and yet he knew she was still innately aware of the stares and looks she was getting as she crossed the restaurant.
Rosalinda was a 5'7 Hispanic goddess with legs for days. She was a model, walking the runways for some of the most prestigious fashion houses like Fendi, Gucci, Dior, Channel and Marchesa just to name a few. She was one of the most beautiful creatures he had ever laid eyes upon. She was also one of the most self centered, insecure, narcissistic people he'd ever met, and he'd met a lot of egomaniacal assholes in his time.
"Mi Corazon," she breathed as she reached the table. She leaned into him and he knew she was going to put on a show for Sean's benefit. Even though she never once took her eyes from Alejandro he knew she had silently sized her up as competition. As her red lips descended upon his, her hand lost itself in his hair. Nails scratched against his scalp as she devoured him with her kiss. He wasn't kissing her back with the gusto he normally would, he was just going through the motions with her, the way he was in their 'relationship' if you could call it that. She sensed the difference in him and moaned, to play up the kiss, entirely for Sean's benefit he was sure and that's where he called a halt. He pulled away from her slowly as his lower lip was caught between her teeth and cleared his throat.
"Rosalinda, always a pleasure," Winston stated with a grin.
She straightened and greeted his agent with civility.
"Winston," she said as she slid into the seat opposite Sean. When Alejandro looked back at Sean it was as if the color drained from her face.
"Oh, don't be like that!" Winston said trying to thaw the cold front she was sending his way. "I thought we were friends? Matter of fact I was just about to introduce you to-"
"Excuse me," Sean said abruptly rising from the table. "I-I'm sorry, I'm really not feeling well. Probably still jetlagged from my flight this morning." She forced a smile and Alejandro continued to stare.
"Winston it was nice to meet you," she said as she snatched her keys off the table. She backed away from the group and almost bumped into a waiter with an arm full of dinner plates. Turning, she manoeuvred her way around the fumbling waiter and made a bee line to the door. As Alejandro watched her retreat he wondered at his whirlwind of ever changing feelings.
"Nice to meet you too!"
"I'm going to miss you, are you sure you can't come with me?"
Alejandro lay in the rumpled sheets of his bed listening to the sounds of Rosalinda preparing to shower. She was leaving for Paris in a very short while and he couldn't wait. It's fashion week which means she will be preoccupied with runways and parties and champagne and not him. He shifted away from the open window and shielded his eyes from the sun. He hadn't heard from Sean since she ran out of the restaurant three days ago. He had absolutely no luck finding which hotel she was staying in which left him waiting for her to just show up again. If she ever did.
There was a string of Spanish curse words coming from the bathroom and Alejandro decided it was time to get up. He strode naked to the ensuite bathroom connected to the master bedroom. Rosalinda was rushing frantically around the huge bathroom tearing open cupboards and knocking their contents all over the spacious bathroom. Everything was everywhere and he wondered how he ended up with so much of her belongings in his house.
"You know I cannot come with you," he stated. "What the hell are you looking for?"
"My other make up bag, I left it here after the Tony's last year. It has my favourite international lipstick in it. I cannot go to France without it!"
His expression was tired as he walked past her into the shower. He turned the water on hot, just under scalding and stepped under the spray. Vaguely, he heard a high pitched "found it!" and ignored it, cocooning himself within the protective barrier of the steam surrounding him. The shower door suddenly swung open, tearing him from his safe haven and he turned to see Rosalinda now sporting soft pink lips.
"I must go now, leave me with a kiss?"
He leaned against the shower door, water running down his sculpted chest in rivulets.
"You said it backwards, I should be the one asking to be left with a kiss; I'm the one left behind."
The gravity of his statement hit him and once again he was back in Louisiana, his tears running down his arm, her tears on his palm and plane tickets on the nightstand. He shook the memory from his mind and took Rosalinda's face in his hand. He did care for her, more than he admitted to himself. As egotistical as she was and for all her flaws, she cared deeply for him, he knew that to be fact. She'd told him she loved him on many occasions but when he was completely honest with himself he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not love her. Not the way she claimed to love him and not one iota close to the way he felt for Sean. He leaned his wet forehead against hers and vowed that once she returned from France he would end it with her, once and for all.
As he leaned away again he looked into her dark eyes. He could see in that moment that she loved him and even though his conscience was telling him he should tell her now, a bigger part of him didn't want to send her on a plane with the same broken heart Sean had left him with. Instead, he kissed her softly and sweetly. She moaned and returned his kiss with passion that just could not be faked.
"I love you," she breathed as she broke the kiss. "And I'll be back before you know it!" she said rushing again. She grabbed her bags and ran out the bathroom leaving it a complete mess. Alejandro sighed and went back to his shower.
Alejandro was wandering his house again. He left the mess in the master bathroom for the maid to clean, changed into linen slacks leaving his chest bare and was once again wandering his spacious and modern home. There was glass and marble everywhere, it was sleek, it was stylish, and it was him. He was proud of himself, this house and everything in it was his. With no help from his family, or Sean. He'd transferred her money back to her account and ended all dealings with that bank altogether so she wouldn't try anything like that again. He'd even transferred the money for his ticket as well. He wanted nothing from her. That was a lie; he actually wanted everything from her. Starting with why she came back into his life in the first place. He was interrupted from his thoughts by a knock at the door. As he bent to open it he paused momentarily feeling a modicum of hope bloom within him that it was Sean.
He wasn't disappointed.
There she was. A vision in blue this time around. Her sky blue dress clung to her bust showing just how much fuller it now was. The dress loosened at her waist and fell to her toes. Such a simple dress, simply cut, no designs or logo's but absolutely beautiful. He caught the words before he said it them aloud.
"Hello Sean." He drank in the sight of her once again like water in a desert.
"Hi," she returned, her eyes roaming his body. "Can I come in?" she asked.
He moved from the doorway and ushered her in. He heard her gasp, and watched her eyes roam over every surface in his house. Without realizing it he hoped she would like his house, like what he'd done with it. He silently hoped she was jealous, of what he had, who he'd become. He hoped she was regretting letting him go.
"Your house is..." she trailed off taking in the 12 foot ceilings, and this was just the entryway.
"It's lovely, I hope your happy here Lee."
She turned to him and he could see the sincerity in her eyes. It upset him. He nodded in response and led her through the dining area, past the large glass dining table with seating for twelve that had never been used. Past the spotless stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, out through the French doors to the large back yard. He pointed to the wicker lawn furniture and she took a seat.
"Did you want anything to drink?"
She shook her head no in response and he took a seat next to her. They sat in silence for what seemed like hours and Alejandro agonized over what to say. The angry part of him wanted to just snap at her, yell scream, but the bigger part of him, the hurt part of him wanted answers and he knew he wouldn't get them
"Why Sean..." He started, trying to find his words. "After all this time why? Why come here? To me?" he finally spoke breaking the tension.
She stared out at the expanse of green earth in front of them, a rueful smile hinted on her lips.
"I asked myself that same question over and over. Why? Why go back and stir up a disastrous pot. It's not like I don't know how you're doing. Not like I ain't followed your every move since you left the French quarter, left New Orleans, left Louisiana." She paused, seemingly considering her next words.
"I followed your career like a bloodhound you know that? I sought out anything I could find on you. After you left, I saw and heard nothing from you for almost a year. I was so worried. Worried you'd given up on your dreams. Then one day I flipped on the TV and there you was. Doing a damn Colgate commercial!"
She grinned then nervously chewed her lower lip. "The second my eyes landed on you my heart stopped beating. For almost 15 seconds I didn't breathe, didn't move a muscle; just stared. The uh," she paused to clear her throat.
"The commercial was popular and aired all the time. Each time that ad came on, I had the same reaction. That same breathless feeling took me."
She shifted in her seat and leaned her head back staring up and the clear blue sky.
"A few months after that you were on an episode of CSI, you remember? Playing a widower whose wife was killed by debris from a plane crash. You were excellent. And I'm not just saying this to you because I'm biased. I mean that. Other folk must've seen it too cause your career just took off. After that I started hearing buzz about a small independent film called Esperenza, about a man who drives across South America to rescue his wife from kidnappers." She smiled genuinely, staring out into her own memories. "It was a huge success at Sundance and there were even whispers of an Oscar nomination." She paused again, emotion gripping her as she tried to speak once more.
"I could not have been more proud of you!" she whispered, he voice thick with emotion. "When I watched Esperenza I cried uncontrollably the entire time; it was that good. I loved everything you did, from the little guest spots to the big ones. Like the movie, this movie you're working on. This huge blockbuster you're doing, it's going to be big Alejandro. Your star is about to take off, you're about to be a-a mega superstar baby! I knew it. Knew you were going places."
Alejandro just stared, waiting for her to continue reading his resume.
"Baby, do you know how big it is to be nominated for an Oscar on your first film?"
"There's no official nomination as of yet," he stated, her terms of endearment not lost on him at all. She turned in her seat to face him, her face streaked with tears she probably hadn't noticed shedding.
"But even the mentions, the fact that people are saying you deserve an Oscar for this role! Do you understand what that means?"