Gale Force Ch. 21byvelvetpie©
This time, the break seemed to go on forever. I was busier than hell. The most surprising thing was a phone call I received and a subsequent meeting with Ilene Chaiken. She had heard about my catering services from Ron and wanted to secure me for her new production, The L Word. The only problem was that her production was based in Vancouver and I wouldn't be able to help her but I recommended a good friend of mine, Harry Butler and he was able to take care of that for her.
The good word of mouth brought me more business for movies and I was grateful to have Stacy helping me as usual. I heard from Jhonna and Michelle and was happy to receive postcards from Bobby and Hal as they jaunted about the world on vacations. The one person I had hoped to hear from was silent. I'd thought about calling him but I resisted, reminding myself of the reality of our situation. Perhaps that was the best thing I could have done.
The fourth season of shooting began as usual, with a huge meeting chaired by Ron and Danny and I was asked to perform my usual stellar service for a brunch. When I arrived with the last box of ribs, I was surprised to find Stacy crying bitterly in the trailer.
It took her several minutes to compose herself and she gripped my hand, wiping her eyes. "He has a girlfriend."
I wanted to ask who she was talking about but I already knew. That was the reason that he hadn't called during break. He was occupied. I took a deep breath and forced a smile on my face, mostly for Stacy's benefit. "It's okay, Stace. We weren't a couple."
"Yes, you were. Everyone knew about it and everybody's mad at him."
"Don't be mad at him. He's a young man, a single young man. I've always known the truth about our relationship."
Stacy started crying again and I gave her a pat, heading out to the table. Everything was in place except for the last tray and I quickly loaded the pork baby back ribs onto it, checking to make sure that the sterno cans were lit. When I turned around, I saw the cast enter the room, led by Michelle and Thea who made a beeline for me. I endured both of their emotional embraces without getting too teary.
"Do you know?" I nodded to Thea's question and she and Michelle glanced at each other. "I can't believe he did that."
"He's a free man, Thea."
"No, he wasn't. This little twat got under his skin somehow. He's even gotten her a job!"
My heart sank. Great. Not only did I have to see him every day and think about her, I had to see her as well. Sharon came flying over, looking as beautiful as ever. "You okay?"
"That little shit!" She cussed in typical Debbie fashion. "I can't believe that he'd do that to you!"
"Sharon, I'll tell you the same thing that I've told the girls, he's a free man. We didn't have a relationship per se. It was just a fling."
"A three year fling?" Michelle asked incredulous.
"No, a three year friendship and getting ready to be four. Now go mingle. I've got to go check on Stacy."
I turned my back on the women, hoping that they would get the hint that I didn't want to talk about it any more and they wandered off, rejoining the major crush at the door. I was almost finished tidying up when I heard,
My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. I swallowed and plastered another smile on my face. Gale stood there, as handsome as ever and next to him was a pretty girl with wavy black hair and green eyes.
"I'm Jenifer, Gale's girlfriend."
I saw something pass behind his eyes and he quickly looked away. I shook her outstretched hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Gale's told me so much about you. He says that you make the best quiche in town."
"He's too kind." I bit the words out, trying not to let my smile slip as my lips began to twitch.
"That he is." She clutched his forearm possessively, gazing at him with admiration. "You'll have to give me your recipe so I can make it for him myself."
I stared at her for a long minute, then looked up at him. "Sorry. I can't share trade secrets." I gathered the empty pans. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work."
I didn't wait for them to leave. I stalked out of the room, heading for the trailer. I was glad that I managed to keep myself together until I had the door closed behind me, then I sank to the couch, accepting Stacy's embrace as I joined her in a crying jag. That's what you get, Fat Girl. I shoved the knowing voice in my head away and gave myself over to my tears.