|Subject: Chapter 286 - Part 1 (16 and above)
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Date Posted: Monday, April 23, 06:32:31am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark continued (273>)" on Monday, March 05, 07:03:06am
Extra warning: I'm rating this 16 and above for some bad language.
Dreams in the Dark (286/?)
by Katherine Gilbert
It was with at least some slight sense of relief that Michael returned to his barracks. While he still had four days to go until he could begin his journey back to his wife, he *had* been assured of a few details: to the best of the military's knowledge, nothing had happened to his wife--and he *would* be allowed to go back to her. Whatever the distance they would suffer from, the terrors of the future, that was all he needed to allow him to move on.
He did, too, returning with a slight weight lifted, almost casual in his attitude. Even if he wanted *much* more time with his wife, he was just thankful that--unseen emergencies and changes of plans aside--he would be allowed to be with her again. Even if it were only for the briefest of moments, he would cherish every single second.
He entered the barracks to discover another joy, as well--a letter from his wife waiting on his bunk; he managed not to snatch it too greedily, calmed somewhat by the hope of being back with her soon. He had only a few minutes before his next duty began, but he did hope to at least get her news. That way, he could be with her, if only in spirit.
It was mostly the fact that there would soon be more than this which allowed him such calm, opening the letter slowly and efficiently before pulling out its contents. There was something just about the scent of it which added to his peace. Nikita was not, generally, a woman who indulged in perfumes--her letters not the stereotypical ones of a Hollywood siren--but there was something wonderful about them, anyway. He remembered the scent of her so well, had become intoxicated by it more than once; his sigh was almost audible, as he unfolded the paper, his heart with only her. He was always convinced that there was some part of her which lingered with every page.
This feeling remained with him, as he settled himself to read, that lovely peace lingering. Perhaps it was only a fantasy, but he was too distanced from her to argue with his imagination. He would treasure the sensation, nonetheless.
He was smiling, soothed by the very thought of her. The cherished letter read:
My dearest, most beautiful Michael,
Your letter makes me ache for you, although that is nothing new. Even your most demanding, most maddened need only makes me love you more. I don't know how I've managed to survive without you for so long.
I'm sorry. That last line probably makes you worry. Rest assured that nothing much has changed since my last letter to you; the studio is what it always was. Frustrating as that might be, I've certainly survived worse.
Oh dear. That sounds quite worrying again, doesn't it? I apologize. Let me tell you about the usual day, then. The retakes are proceeding, slowly and endlessly, but not anything like as fraught as they were a few weeks ago. No more accidents, thankfully. Petrosian is keeping me on the lot as much as possible, but that's not really new. Of course, he does nothing to hide the fact that my pregnancy--that any woman's pregnancy, perhaps--makes him ill; I've lost track of the times he's called me a "fat cow." Still, is this really new? The last time I worked with him, it was "dumb . . ." Never mind. I'm sure you remember too well what he's like.
This fact is rather annoying, but it's not exactly worrying; I should probably be soothed that everything's so predictable there. Shears does his best to defend me, which leads Petrosian to call him a few unsavory names, as well. (Nothing quite as bad as the ones he has for me. Why are all the really choice insults directed solely at women?). I even suspect that the man might be purposely filming Shears at bad angles just to mar his prospects, but Andrew doesn't much seem to notice. Perhaps he's still too new to understand where that can lead.
I've just looked back over that last paragraph and have to shake my head. Funny, isn't it? Here I am, in Hollywood only a little over a year and a half, and I'm acting as though I know everything. You must be laughing. Compared to you, I'll always be the ingénue.
I mean that only in the best ways, my love. Men only get more distinguished, as they age. Only women become hags. Something to look forward to, I suppose.
I'm sorry. This letter is definitely wandering. You see, it's incredibly late, and I'm a little tipsy. Madeline forced me to go to some damn Friars' Club--or Elks or some strange thing of the sort--and I was forced to drink a little wine along with my meal (Fredericks managed to check all my food, as it was given to me--a feat of immense subtlety, I have to say--so have no fears there). I only had about half a glass of red wine, but I must be showing my youth. I've never been a drinker; you can probably well imagine why. Still, by the time the dinner was over, it took every ounce of my strength not to put my head down on the table and begin snoring. These long days--especially knowing that I have to go in for more tomorrow--just make me very tired.
Anyway, this is the reason why this letter is probably going to be quite drawn-out, and possibly incomprehensible. Still, I wanted to be sure to write *something* to you tonight. Yesterday, when I received your wonderful letter, I was so happy with it, I just went to bed holding it close, with a smile on my face--not anticipating what I'd have to do today. But I don't want to make you wait for word from me again.
Let me assure you, then, that there's little to report at the studio, besides the usual annoyances. Even the dinner tonight didn't seem entirely planned. Susan was the one who was supposed to go, but she's had a devil of a cold, lately; the fact that she's managed to hold herself together enough to get through her scenes shows how thoroughly underrated her talent is. Petrosian was really being a dog to her for awhile, but I suspect that Peter threatened a body part or two he was fond of.
Anyway, Madeline seemed a little annoyed, when she had to send me (I don't think she really wants to publicize me that much). But the Friars or Elks or Hedgehogs or whatever they might have been seemed pleased, all the same. Nice of them, really. A thin, beautiful little ingénue has got to be a better deal than a pregnant, exhausted . . . whatever I am. Maybe they were fantasizing. I really don't want to think about it.
Dear Lord, I'm wandering *all over* the place here. I wonder if you'll even be able to make out any of my writing. I think I'm just considerably more tired than I thought. Is it possible for that little wine to make you this sleepy?
It's probably a good thing I had that wine. I just remembered what you said in your last letter, about the accident you were in. *Please* take care, my love. I can't bear the thought of having you hurt.
Anyway, I can't think about this now; it makes my head hurt. And I apologize for writing to you in this state. Maybe I should just wait till tomorrow and write you a proper letter. But, if I do that, something would undoubtedly arise to make me wait even longer--and, knowing how hard it is for me to hold out for every little word from you, I hate to make you wait another day.
Let me see what else I need to tell you about. Ah, yes. Mr. Enquist hasn't made many appearances at the studio lately--at least not around me--but I suspect that's mostly because of Fredericks. He's looking out for me quite well. In fact, it was only my plea to him and Annie to let me finish this note that has let me stay up to write. I better hurry. Annie still seems likely to come along to put me to bed like a child very soon.
This is probably *not* encouraging information for you, yet again. How wonderful to be married to some girl who can't even hold a half glass of wine. I'm sorry. I do love you, but I suspect that I'll never be quite worthy of being your partner.
I know you've asked me not to say things like this, but I can't help it. You've also asked me to be honest. The longer you're away, the more deeply I miss you, and the more I wonder why you endure all you do for me. Your life would be so much simpler, if you were with someone else. The world is full of ingénues who can look more than fairly passable with the right makeup and lighting; there are some truly beautiful women out there, ones who don't need to be so constantly looked after and coddled--and who won't, as well, generally take over your life. As much as I love you and don't ever want to be without you, I often don't understand why you willingly suffer so much to be with me. There must be a city-full of better choices than me.
Oh, Lord. Now I'm becoming a maudlin drunk. Woe is me.
Anyway, I should probably try to wrap this up. As much as I want to linger on how much I love and desire you, I'm clearly not in any sort of state for you to want to hear that from me. Professions of undying need from a lush--whoopee.
Okay, so this is the first time in longer than I can remember that I've been drunk, so I suppose I don't quite qualify as a lush. Anyway . . .
I love you, Michael. If you were here, I probably wouldn't be in this state. Or, even if I were . . .
Oh, forget it. I'm not making any sense, even to myself. I better stop, before it gets any worse than this.
I'm sorry for all this. This letter is probably showing my mental state all-too-well. Without you, I always feel erratic and unfocused. A pity I can't be a stronger partner for you than that.
Despite all this, I adore you. I want to be the wife you love and raise our child together in peace. I suppose I'm looking for some sort of scripted ending to our romance. I can't help it. Just this once, I want to be part of some happiness in the real world.
Please forgive this letter and come back to me when you can. Admittedly, this isn't much of an invitation, but I promise to be good. Great, now I sound like a faithful dog. I'm probably a Pomeranian.
I'm going to shut up now. Sorry.
I do love you so much,
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