A Visit to a Fan Ch. 06byvelvetpie©
"I don't believe it." Gale winced, hearing the laughter in Jenny's voice. He took a long pull on the cigarette and reached for his drink. "She has cojones."
"Yeah. I can't believe that she threw me out."
"I can. You tell a married woman that you want her to seduce you? How selfish of you!"
Gale sat up on the hotel bed. "Selfish?"
"Can you imagine how shocked she must have been, to see the infamous Gale Harold on her doorstep? And then her hero asks her to seduce him?" She laughed, a tinny sound that bounced through the cell phone's tiny speaker. "What did you expect?"
"I expected her to do what she did in the story!"
"Then you'd better rethink what you really want to say to her. Step in her shoes and really think."
That phone call had taken place an hour ago, when he'd called Jenny to tell her about what had happened. Since then, he'd stayed in his room, smoking and thinking about her words. He kept replaying the conversation, trying to figure out where it had gone wrong, where she ceased to be a fan and he became just another star. He thought about the story again, remembering the tenderness of the scenes and the tone that ran through the entire piece.
Then he understood. She had connected with his soul and he had rushed things. Her story proved that she was a deeper person than that. He needed to make her understand what was going on in his heart and to do that, he'd have to open himself up to this total stranger that so eloquently described his soul without knowing him.
"I know what to do."
* * * * *
He sent the invitation with a bouquet of flowers. I'd like the pleasure of your company for dinner to apologize and to talk with you. Choose anywhere you wish and call me on my cell. Please give me a chance to explain. Gale.
Three o'clock. Four o'clock. Five o'clock. The hours passed and still no response. He called the florist and was told that yes, the bouquet had been delivered and that yes, a woman accepted it. How did she look when she saw it? Surprised. And how did she look when she read the card? I don't know, sir. She closed the door after giving me a tip. Confused and tired, he showered and lay down in his towel, hoping that he could catch and nap and be awakened by her call.
His cell phone blazed to life at seven-thirty and he groped for it, half-asleep, thumbing the correct button. "Hello, Velvet?"
"Mr. Harold?" A male voice inquired.
"Your car is waiting."
Gale rubbed his eyes. "My car?"
"Yes, sir. I'll be waiting downstairs for you."
He sat up, momentarily wondering what the hell was going on and when it dawned on him that it could be from Velvet, he jumped out of bed and dressed. It took him less than thirty minutes to shave, brush, do his hair and put on a funky blue pinstriped suit that he'd brought for the occasion. Grabbing the room key, he took the elevator down and was met by the driver, a young man named Chauncey.
"I'm afraid that I'll have to ask you to change your clothes."
Gale stared at the young man. "What?"
"My instructions are to make sure that you are dressed ... " He pulled a note card from his pocket and consulted it. "'Brian Kinney Babylon' style."
He knew it was from Velvet at the mention of those words. He grinned, asked Chauncey to wait and dashed back upstairs. He selected a pair of denim and leather jeans, short boots and a comfortable shirt, tousling his hair before he left. He took the elevator back down and presented himself to the driver who gave him a respectful bow of approval. Chauncey opened the doors and they sped off toward Daytona, ending the journey in front of her house.
"Uh, Chauncey, I didn't ask, but do I have anything to take in with me?" Chauncey smiled and handed Gale a bouquet of Casablanca lilies and a basket of four chilled bottles of Asti. "You are fantastic."
"Thank you, sir. Now get going. She has my number when you're ready to return."
Gale slid out, accepted the flowers and wine and once again, walked down the flower-flanked walkway, pausing to ring the door. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as she opened the door, looking quite different from earlier and a wonderful smell wafting out of the house.
"Hi. I'm sorry." He felt like an idiot. He didn't know what else to say.
"I'm sorry, too, Gale. Come in." He offered her the flowers and she gave him a warm smile, pulling a vase from under the sink and placing it on the dining room table that had been lit with candles. "I hope you don't mind. Your note said that I could choose dinner anywhere I wanted. No one in this town cooks better than I do."
He smiled, knowing the importance of what she'd done and his heart thumped extra loudly in his chest. "Really?"
"Really." She opened another cabinet and set two rose crystal glasses on the table. "You gonna stand there holding those? Pop one."