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Subject: Chapter 294 - Part 1

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Date Posted: Monday, July 09, 07:04:29am
In reply to: KatherineG. 's message, "Dreams in the Dark - continues with chapter 289 >" on Monday, June 18, 06:55:17am

Dreams in the Dark (294/?)
by Katherine Gilbert

Reunions were never entirely predictable--sometimes the most anticipated ones proving less than scintillating. In this case, it was quite the opposite. What was supposed to be a, mostly perfunctory, meeting turning into quite a happy affair--the group of allies taking sometime to stop chatting animatedly, before finally settling down to business. But, whatever their pleasure in the moment, they did have to focus at last.

This change came about subtly, all the guests taking seats around Michael and Nikita's living room before coming to the original point of this get-together. Still, the delay had been predicted by Angie and Sasha, each of them looking forward to this moment--their smiles quite real. There was just something so soothing about seeing this pair together again. It was an opportunity to be savored in full.

Fredericks and Annie had had to pull in a few more chairs from the dining room to gather enough together for this moment, but no one else was particularly focused on such efforts--the attention of the two, cheery women, especially, elsewhere. For each of them, the reunited pair was both symbolic and meaningful. They had no intention of being denied the pleasure of seeing them together again.

They weren't, fortunately, as the discussion began--Michael starting it off--but neither of them much noticed the words. Just witnessing this much-anticipated event--however brief it might prove to be--was enough. They needed nothing else to add to their pleasure now.

This truth had existed for quite sometime--Angie, especially, appreciating the change. Always, she had rooted for Michael--had even yearned for him in some private way. But she had never had any delusions. The actor was beautiful, young, and strong--had probably always been much too formidable for her. When he had first found Nikita, it had seemed a rather strange pairing. But that had been before she had seen the couple together as one.

She could still remember this moment, as the conversation flowed around her--had long cherished it. There had been a fitting, early on in Nikita's contract, the woman in Wardrobe for at least an hour, trying to get a certain dress right. Near the end of it, Madeline had led in Michael--still in costume from the day's shooting--had stood them side-by-side. And that had been the exact moment when she had known without doubt that there would never be a place for herself in Michael's life.

It wasn't that Angie had ever harbored much illusion here, had only allowed herself a little dream now and again--the type which thousands of women across the globe liked to sigh about. It had been no more realistic than that--she had known, even at the time. Michael needed an equal, someone who could stand toe-to-toe with him and challenge every notion he had ever held; her smile lingered, looking the actress over. And Nikita had been exactly the woman to do just that.

This fact hadn't always been obvious--the ingénue understandably a bit timid in the beginning. But there was something about the spark which caught when the pair's eyes met, about the way that--just occasionally--it was Michael who couldn't keep *her* look. That was a first for the man, in Angie's experience. And it was just the sort of challenge he needed to make him fully devoted at last.

It wasn't that the man had entirely failed in such devotion before--his relationship with Simone the most obvious example. But the wardrobe assistant had always known that that would fail. As wonderful, and wickedly funny, a woman as the late actress had been--as much of a challenge as she had probably also been to Michael--there had been a sort of doomed air to their relationship. Perhaps, it was simply the difference in their races--the fact that the world would have happily torn them apart for even considering such a love; perhaps, it was something else. Angie shivered slightly, winning her partner's serious gaze, Peter's hand then taking her own--his silent devotion making her smile. But, whatever it had been, she had feared the very worst from the first time the couple had begun to date.

There was no way she could know the exact details of the pair's arrangements; she had never bothered to imagine them. But the change between them--the deepening of their bonds--had become immediately evident, even in their daily studio life. For all his usual calm, Michael had become a little obsessed with the woman. And Angie just wasn't convinced that this was the way to the actress's heart.

She couldn't get past these observations now, barely heard the conversation around her. There had been a sort of ferocity to the relationship between the actor and Simone--one which had been obvious even in their casual interactions. For a long time, Angie hadn't been entirely certain that it was even love. It was more that they seemed determined to find some sort of reason for living--and the feral sort of bond they had established was the only one they had discovered thus far.

This was what she had thought at the time--still was, to a certain extent. While she did believe now that Michael had loved the woman, there had been more to it than that. She just wasn't convinced the relationship would have happened, if the couple hadn't both been so determined to find some real focus for their lives.

That they both had needed this was all too evident to Angie--actors revealing far more about themselves, in their idle chat with their dressers, than they realized. As far as the man went, he had long been drifting--wandering aimlessly from fling to fling and moment to moment, without much deeper concern for any of them--his whole, internal life the daily workings of the studio. For Simone, there had been a simple need to forget as much of her past as she could--a real desire to drown out the pain she had lived in for so long. The absolute, sexual fury which clearly existed between the pair had given them both a focus, a purpose--or as much of one as they had found at the time. That alone had seemed reason enough to bond them together quite strongly.

Angie nearly shook her head, fought to focus somewhat on her surroundings, her mind still mostly elsewhere. Perhaps she was wrong in all this, but she doubted it; she wondered sometimes whether the man himself even understood--although she suspected that Rene, at least, did. It was one of the reasons why the designer had so strongly urged Michael not to marry Simone. Even had society been intelligent enough not to care about the difference in race, it was all too clear that the relationship would probably burn itself out, in time.

Simone's terrible death had prevented this possibility, of course, had made any objections moot--not that Angie herself ever would have spoken them. People's lives were their own to do with as they chose; her gaze traveled briefly to her partner. And everyone had to find their pleasure wherever they could.

It wasn't simple pleasure which bound her to Peter, however--just as it wasn't this which had brought Michael and Nikita together; she had almost wished that her boss's own . . . inclinations lay elsewhere, as she had often thought that Rene would make a much better match with Simone--had he been capable of taking on such an alliance in full. Still, some of these deeper relationships seemed doomed to never happen; her sigh was quiet, her hand tightening around her partner's. She was just very fortunate to be in one which worked.

She wasn't the only lucky one in the room--the reunited pair everyone had come here for certainly a prime example of a perfect couple; she almost had to laugh. While she had no doubt that the pair's devotion was probably every bit as ferocious as the actor and Simone's, there was a depth to their bond which had been missing in this previous couple's. She had no doubt that they would remain together--whatever was to come. It wasn't passion alone--or the desire to escape reality--which would keep them as one.

She started to blush, as her mind turned to such subjects--her own knowledge of deeper passion really quite recent. While she had given away her virginity many, many years ago--probably before her current lover's birth, she tried not to calculate too closely--she had since been quite celibate, had never expected anything else of her life. That a lover almost half her age would suddenly come along--a man whom she could give herself to unreservedly--seemed far too amazing to credit; her smile at the pair before her deepened. But it was the fact that she saw so much of herself in them which made a small part of her fierce in the desire to help.

There weren't many outward facts which supported such empathy, of course--Angie herself anything but a young ingénue. Still, there was some similarity about the outer sweetness and inner resolve of the woman--and taciturn exterior and fierce, devoted heart of the man--which made such an idea far less absurd.

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Chapter 294 - Part 2 (end of chapter 294)KatherineG.Monday, July 09, 07:05:54am

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