Gale Force Ch. 23byvelvetpie©
Season Four, cont.
I fell in love.
With Vancouver. I thought that Toronto was fantastic but Vancouver was so wonderful and Ilene was so nice! I conferred with Henry and jumped right in, handling all the usual craft service stuff with my flair. The ladies of the L Word cast were just as beautiful as the men of Queer As Folk were and I made instant friends with Jennifer Beals, nearly salivating over the beauty that had captured the world years earlier in Flashdance.
Laurel Holloman turned out to be the person that I would become closest to. Her character was pregnant and in real life, Laurel, too, was with child. I made her small snacks, discreetly delivering them to her and always receiving a heartfelt thanks. But my biggest gasp!-oh-my-God sensation came from witnessing the still-gorgeous Pam Grier walking up the table and inspecting my wares.
Ilene introduced me to Leisha Haley, whose character's name was Alice and had a completely unpronounceable last name, Mia Kershner, who was breathtakingly beautiful, Erin Daniels, a professional tennis player on the show and the Brian Kinney of the bunch, Katherine Moennig, as woman-eating, dark Shane. The vibe was different here and I told myself that it would just take some getting used to since these people were all new to me and vice versa. Still, a secret ache filled my heart just the same and I did my best to keep busy.
Henry and I had agreed to go halves on the season which left me with a couple of months of hard work, then ... nothing. I made a life-changing decision after meeting a lovely Oriental woman named Michiko and we opened a restaurant together. Her father owned the place, a rundown Chinese eatery that we transformed into a noodle and dumpling shop. Opening was a revelation; we had advertised but I was humbled and moved to tears when I opened the doors and found Hal, Bobby and Sharon as my first customers.
I fed them six different kinds of dumplings, three types of noodles and four accompanying sauces and took a break to have a cup of sake and talk with them. They told me about the wonderful job that Stacy was doing and that the young woman insisted that she was working on my behalf. Allen was doing a great job in providing her with much-needed support and the production was going well. Through furtive glances and uncomfortable stretches of quiet, I realized that there was something they weren't saying.
"So, how's Gale?"
Bobby looked at Hal, who glanced at Sharon. It was she who answered, reminding me again of her QAF character, Debbie. "He sucks."
Hal touched my hand, trying to calm me. "Jenifer has consumed him. She won't let any of us talk to him unless she's present."
"Holy shit!" I whispered. "Is she drugging him, too?"
Bobby joined me in laughter but the seriousness in what Hal had said wasn't lost on any of us. "Can you come back for a visit?"
"I don't think that's a good idea, Bobby."
"I think it's an excellent idea." Sharon piped up, grabbing more dumplings for her plate. "She can visit Stacy and check up on her business ... "
"While visiting with those of us in the cast who have missed her fantastic cooking." Hal grinned, looking over at his TV mother. "And maybe ... "
"One of us could hold a dinner party to welcome our friend back."
I looked at each one of them as they spoke, shaking my head negatively. "You guys have been working with each other for too long."
"That's a great idea!" Sharon exclaimed, totally ignoring me and giving Bobby a smart slap on the back. "Let's do it!"
I was outnumbered and should have given up. Bobby convinced me to arrange things with Michiko and she graciously understood. After all, we'd been working all those days straight to make the place the success that it was. We talked about things and decided that since the fifth and final season was about to begin in six weeks, that I would come up then, entering as Bobby's guest.
Everyone gave me a big hug as they left, with Hal pausing to give me an extra long embrace. "He's stupid, you know."
I sniffled, allowing myself the luxury of tears. "I know."
"He had a beautiful woman who cared about him. Now his has a pretty girl who only cares about his wallet." He pulled back, smiling into my silvery eyes. "I'd marry you in a heartbeat."
I laughed, wiping my eyes. "No offense, Hal, but you're kinda short for me." I gave him a sound kiss and pulled him to me again. "But thanks."
"No, thank you. We look forward to your rescue."
I watched them leave, unaware that people had crowded around me, asking questions about them but I didn't answer. I was thinking about Gale and wondering what the hell was going to happen.