Together, Forever! Ch. 01bysimply_cyn©
Author's Note: This story was originally written right after a huge blockbuster hit the big screen. After seeing it, I was inspired. The rest, or I should say "the beginning" follows...
"Come on, Vicky. Let's splurge and go see it. It's supposed to be the biggest movie since Gone with the Wind. We can't miss it!" Victoria Harrison looked up from her laptop computer at her friend and roommate. She was in the middle of editing a manuscript to submit to her publisher for publication and it was a bad time to be thinking about going anywhere right now. However, it had been a long time since she had been out of the apartment and especially to the movies, and she just loved to see movies in the movie theatre. Nothing can compare to the big screen taking you away to places you have never been, or ever will be. Madelyn was making it very hard to resist this temptation.
"Maddie, I'm right in the middle of this work," she argued, looking down at her laptop. "Where's Keegan? Why don't you go see it with him?"
Madelyn shrugged her shoulders in a carefree manner as she crossed over to the table where Victoria was set up. She sat on the table, swinging her legs absently. "Keegan refuses to see it. He says it's more of a love story than a documentary. Besides," Madelyn's eyes sparkled with mischief, "You know you want to see."
She was right, of course. Victoria had wanted to see this movie since she had first heard about it in November. It was January now and she still hadn't made it. Work was really keeping her busy. She banged on the laptop a few more times, frustrated at her mental block. She just couldn't put an ending to this story. Maybe what she needed was a break. Looking back up at Madelyn, she sighed and sat back in her chair. "Oh, all right. But that's it. I have to come back as soon as the movie is over, understand?"
"Yeah, sure ... whatever," Madelyn said, jumping down from the table, grabbing her purse and Victoria's arm.
Victoria had heard that this was a good movie, but that it was real long ... three hours and twenty minutes. She wasn't sure she could spare that much time away from her work, but the movie turned out to be a great one! She didn't realize how long she had been sitting until the credits rolled and she tried to get up. Her muscles cramped at the sudden movement. She had sat mesmerized to the screen, riveted by the story. Not to mention that the actor that starred in it was the most beautiful creature that Victoria had seen in a long time ... Colin something. She wasn't sure how to say his last name, but that didn't matter. He was absolutely awesome! As she walked out of the theatre with Madelyn, wiping the tears from her eyes, she couldn't shake him from her mind.
That's where it started ... this mind fling with a Hollywood star, seven years younger than her. When she had been younger, Victoria had had crushes on movie stars, but not since she had gotten out of her twenties and never on one that she felt drawn too. Maybe it was because with Colin, she had this deep feeling that he needed saving and she was the only one to do it. But how? Towards the last part of the movie, he had drowned and Victoria somehow linked it to his life ... how it was symbolic of him drowning in his way of life, in the clutches of Hollywood. The only problem Victoria saw was their age difference. He was twenty-three and she was about to turn thirty-one.
Victoria taught first grade at one of the local elementary schools in her home town, but she had also published some children's books on the side. She was really starting to put most of her extra time and work into her writing, hoping to eventually quit teaching and just write. Knowing this, her publisher had been begging her to take her spring break from school and come to Los Angeles for a book signing. Victoria hadn't really pursued it because of her schedule with teaching, but not, all the sudden, she decided it was time to go. Besides, the actor from this movie lived in Los Angeles and she was toying with the idea of setting a plan into motion ... a plan to meet Colin and have him see that he couldn't possibly live without her. So come March, Victoria surprised her publisher and herself by boarding an airplane bound for Los Angeles. She had tried talking Madelyn into coming with her but she hadn't wanted to leave her boyfriend, Keegan. They had been together for six years now and she was expecting a marriage proposal anytime.
Victoria and Madelyn shared an apartment in a small Texas town, about thirty-six miles north of Dallas. Victoria had grown up in this town and didn't have a lot of reasons to ever leave it, especially for another state. She'd visited California plenty of times before, but never for business. The previous times she had been she hadn't been too impressed. To her, it was just another city but a very crowded one with a lot more smog and pollution than in Texas, especially where she lived. Her home town was just big enough to have enough to do, but not big enough to have too much. They go to a town closer to Dallas just to go to the mall! But the people were a lot friendlier, the pace slower and family meant more than careers. Victoria was just a small town girl at heart, but she was willing to do just about anything to meet this young actor by the name of Colin.
As she waited for the plane to depart from DFW, she couldn't help but let her thoughts linger on him and what she was doing. She had to be losing her mind. The plane ride across the country was uneventful. The country drifted below her like bits and pieces of a patchwork quilt. At last the plane touched down in L.A. Victoria stretched her legs out in front of her, and then her arms as she looked out the window once again. She had daydreamed and dozed most of the way across the country, and now she looked out and wondered why she had come. What point was there in running after a younger man than she, and one she didn't even know? What could she possibly expect to come of that? She knew as she stood up, tossing her long auburn hair behind her, that she had been wrong to come all this way. She wasn't twenty-one years old anymore. It didn't make any sense to do what she was planning to do. She was a woman with responsibilities and a life to lead, all of which centered on her hometown in Texas. But what did she have there really; nothing except an ex-husband and parents who had long passed away.
With a sigh she watched the rest of the passengers begin to deplane, and she picked up her tote bag, and fell in line. She had worn a dark brown broomstick skirt with a matching knit top, and her chocolate leather boots. The tote bag she had brought was the same color. Even with the worried frown between her eyebrows and the casual clothes she had worn on the trip, she was still a strikingly beautiful woman and heads turned as men noticed her making her way slowly out of the giant plane.
"Enjoy your stay. Thank you for flying ..." The stewardesses spoke these words like a recording and Victoria smiled at them in return. A moment later she was standing in the Los Angeles airport, looking around with a sense of disorientation, wondering where to go, who would find her, not sure if they would even meet her at all. For a moment, as she stood there, watching the typical airport chaos, she suddenly realized that once she got started on her book signings, she would be glad she had come. Maybe it wouldn't sound so silly after a while.
As she looked around for the sign that said "baggage claim", she felt a hand on her arm. She turned; looking startled, and then she say him, her publisher, Tom Jordan. He stood towering over her, his green eyes like chunks of jade and a smile wide enough to melt any anxiety she had of being here. She had never met Tom face to face, but she had known him for years. He pulled her into a great bear hug and said, "Damn, I'm happy to finally meet you face to face, Vicky. I feel like we've done this a million times before."
"Me too." She grinned up at him, equally happy to see him and suddenly delighted that she had come. Maybe this would be okay after all.
"Ready?" He crooked an arm and with a nod and a smile, she took it, and they went in search of her baggage, which was already spinning lazily on the turntable when they got downstairs. "This it?" He looked at her questioningly, holding the large brown leather suitcase that matched her tote. He held the heavy case easily in one hand, her tote slung over his shoulder.
"That's it, Tom." He led the way to the garage. Five minutes later they had reached his white Lexus, stowed her suitcase in the back and were driving slowly out of the parking lot of the Los Angeles International Airport and down the freeway towards a large Barnes & Nobel bookstore where her book signing was to take place.
On the way, Victoria tried to think of a tactful way to bring up the other reason for her trip. "Tom?" she began, casting him a sideways glance and bestowing a smile on him.
"Do you ever go clubbing around here?"
He only smiled and shook his head at her. "No. Why?"
Her voice softened. "Oh, I was just wondering if you knew which one was the most popular around here."
"Why's that?" he asked, sensing there was more to what she was asking.
"Well, my book signings are during the day and I just thought I might need something to do at night." She had secretly been practicing some of the latest dance moves at the Dallas clubs and had been doing her homework on Colin. One of the things she had read was he loved to hang out at the local nightclubs, usually with models he had met. He seemed to have this fascination with beautiful girls, especially models. Beautiful as she was, Victoria wasn't sure how she was going to overcome the model obstacle, but she was going to try.
"I'm sorry Vicky but I didn't get the impression that you were the clubbing type."
"I'm not really." She left it at that.
"Well, I'll see what I can find out for you, okay?"
"That would be great," she signed and then knew she needed to ask one more question. She looked over at him as they turned into the parking lot. "Do you know who Colin Mengatti is?"
"Who?" he asked and then cast an eye over at her. "You mean that young movie star?"
"Yeah, that's the one," she replied casually, fiddling with her purse, trying not to look him in the eye. It sounded silly now that she had asked it.
"Why?" he asked, putting the car in park and turning to watch her.
"Oh, a childhood friend of mine lives here in Los Angeles and wants me to meet him. He apparently had a small part in a film that he just finished making. Blake said he likes to go to the clubs here in L.A. and that might be a good place to see him. Do you know anything about that?" She looked up and wondered if that excuse sounded as lame as she thought.
Tom smiled at her and teased, "It sounds like you have more on your mind than business while you're here in Los Angeles."
Victoria smiled, lightly laughing. "Can you find that information out for me or not?" she asked, feigning irritation.
"I guess I could. I don't know who you think I know in this town, but I'll try to pull some strings. How would that suit you?"
"That would suit me just fine." She bestowed a smile on him and then opened the door, hauling her laptop and purse out with her.
"You just do a good job on this book signing, okay?" he said, grabbing his cellular phone and followed her into the bookstore. "I'll see what I can do."
She had a real good turnout at the book signing so Victoria was in good spirits when she and Tom headed for her hotel. She had another book signing the next day at a local bookstore and coffee shop.
"Well?" she asked sheepishly, looking over at Tom.
"Well, what?" he teased.
"You know what." She smiled at him.
He pulled a folded sheet of paper out of his pocket under his jacket and handed it to her. It was a list of the hottest dance clubs in Los Angeles and he had even starred the ones Colin had a fondness for.
"How did you get this?" she asked, amazed that he had the connections to do this.
"How do you think? I'm a publicist. Keeping good relations with the public and media is part of my job."
'Good ole' Tom!' Victoria mused to herself. He always came through when he was needed.