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Caleb Holmes
Setting Difficulties
Wed Mar 9, 2005 01:57

“No.” Well, at least his ego wasn’t going to suffer a blow!

“I… I went to the library today, but I wasn’t there to check out research material on the Phantom.” Caleb quirked a brow in the darkness, partially for Lucy’s trembling tones, and for her mild deceit. Then what had she gone there for? Even now he had to strain to hear her voice, barely a whisper. Though her touch felt nice, and he reveled in it, he still wished to know what was going on.

“Last night was… I’ve never done anything like that.” All right, Caleb couldn’t help the egotistical grin that surfaced as she spoke in dreamy tones of memory. What guy wouldn’t have an inflated ego if a woman spoke like that? “I mean, the guys I know talk about it sometimes when they don’t realize I’m around… didn’t realize… that’s what they do with their goomahs.” Ah, well that sort of explained it, especially since Lucy had led a sheltered life. It was obvious she was not a virgin, thank God for small favors, but was still inexperienced all the same. Head canted to the side as she shifted, he waited for the full explanation of the story.

“I thought you were marking me for a mistress, Caleb, and you have no idea how much that hurt. So when I found myself with some free time, figured the library was a good place to look for… ah, information on… uhm… y’know… oral conjugative…” He could hear the blush that sudden inflamed Lucy’s face! But he was utterly shocked, trying to take it all in quickly. Instead of asking him, she went to the library to get information about cunnilingus! But it got better. The ‘marking of a mistress’ nonsense must have been pure Sicilian right there, really. He hadn’t ever encountered that, and it seemed the sort of thing that a Mafioso would chalk up to egotistical ranting, but a poignant sore spot for a supposedly rough and tough man. Yet… it hurt her? “That… thing you did… I found it in some women’s sexual health books. And…”

Really, if Caleb heard any more, he was going to start laughing hysterically. He couldn’t help it! This all sounded so absurd.

“And I understood that you weren’t trying to put me in my place… but make me happy.” Well duh! Drawing a silent breath, he was trying so damned hard not to bap her upside the head for silliness. But it was ignorance, even if she could have avoided it, due to societal constraints. Fine, he could deal with that. But… uhm… erm… Train of thought momentarily lost as Lucy bestowed upon him one of those infamous kisses, feeling the muscles from the base of his skull down to his toes immediately melt. “Thank you. No one’s ever been that sharing before.” Gah!

“Good night, Caleb.” Damn! Well, there went his chance to get lucky tonight. Giving a sigh as she hopped off into the bathroom, he took the time to go over the mental checklist. And at the bottom, it included ‘good guys always go last’. Well, apparently it wasn’t his turn!

Stripping down to the boxer-briefs, he boxed up the remaining Chinese food and stowed it away in the refrigerator, replacing a few items through the house here and there after turning on a lamp. Not too much light, but better than being blinded. Dirty clothing went into the hamper in the bedroom, and fresh was laid out in the living room so he wouldn’t bother Lucy come morning. Half the time he was out of the apartment, both meandering through the apartment building and learning the layout without the aid of blueprints since he was just an actor now. Pffbt, this was such a joke! Well, he had nothing better to do, and figured he could take a shower in the morning since Lucy was going to steal all the hot water.

Flopping down on the sofa, pillow beneath his head and light blanket over his frame, Caleb closed his eyes, finding relief in that simple action. His head was pounding! Not only from a headache that continued to plague him, but also with the conversation that swam through his head. Lucy couldn’t be so naïve, could she? Well… Her confusion about his ‘generosity’ made that rather clear. Great, just great.

By the time Lucy pulled herself out of the bathroom, Caleb was already asleep.

“No, no, no!” Ray was leaping onto the stage, frantically motioning to the stagehands. “We need the stairs there, center stage! Make sure you mark it this time!” Oh God, it was set building day. Not that any of the actors actually helped out, considering they were artsy types, and not ones to do manual labor. Already the Phantom’s lair had been built, needing only to be decorated, as well as Christine’s room for after her début in Hannibal. Unlike the smaller theater back in New York – which was odd to think of as small – Ray had a larger budget to work with, and apparently he was determined to use up every last penny.

“Oh, screw it! That’s it, everyone! Production is over!” As if the cast didn’t have enough to worry about with the play coming in only three weeks, they had to deal with a melodramatic producer and director. Caleb sighed, patting Lucy’s pert rear in an absent-minded fashion, depositing her into the next chair before he went to calm down a flustered director. Michael didn’t much care, flirting with Lucy; the rest of the cast was off in their own little worlds. Lovely.

“Ray, calm down. What’s going on?” They still hadn’t gotten to the dress rehearsal stage of production; that was supposed to happen later on in the week. No more blocking, straight run-throughs every night until they had it down pat, and a shitload of tweaking their acting methods. Still, with Caleb in the ritual mask, it was slightly unnerving to a good majority of the cast and stagehands. What sort of man always wore that damned thing?! Regardless, Ray felt free to launch into a diatribe about how the staff was stupid, the suppliers were all idiots, and his carpenters were fools that didn’t know the answer to two plus two. Nice… At least the actors didn’t normally get the brunt of this temper.

“All right, all right! Take a deep breath.” Pausing, Caleb ticked off on his fingers as he went through the difficulties. “Don’t go through a supplier, go down to the lumber yard yourself and bring someone that knows what the hell is going on. The staff does what you ask Ray, no more, no less. The only person at fault for that is you.” Woo, can you hear the cracking of necks as everyone’s head whipped around when Caleb said that? Though you could. “Last of all, the carpenters know exactly what they’re doing when building things. When you ask them to create contraptions that will slide the set along smoothly…” Sigh! “You need a contractor for that job, Ray. Not a carpenter. All right?”

“I suppose you think you can just fix it all like that?” Snap of the fingers. Ray was in fine form tonight, plumage in full array. It really was magnificent to see. More so when Caleb brought the figurative needle out and popped the director’s inflated ego.

“You’re damned right I can.” Snatch! Grabbed the blueprints out of Ray’s hand, and eyed them critically. Remember the falsified occupation back in New York for Gino? An agent had to be able to play the part, just like an actor. “Jesus Ray, you drew these on a napkin at lunch, didn’t you?” The red face of embarrassment answered that! “Go on. Shoo! Practice in the aisles while I figure this mess out.” Just like that, brushed off!

“People! Now we need to…” Huh, but he could adapt, couldn’t he?

Meanwhile, Caleb had a hell of a mess on his hands, and wasn’t quite certain why the crew listened to him, unlike Ray. It had to be the mask. But in short order he had a variety of problems facing him. Wrong wood, wrong nails, wrong glue, wrong everything! Right down to the measurements! Several tape measures later along with chalk line and what not, and he was right up on the stage getting down and dirty with the hired hands. Cute, wasn’t it? Especially when he barked an order and killed the mood for the singers for a short while.


Halfway through the practice, during the break for the singers, Caleb was leading Ray around the stage, pointing things out here and there. Oh, there was a scuffle that was laid to rest through it all, and the director eventually stalked off placated. Half of the problems had stemmed from Ray’s horrid blueprints, when he likely didn’t know a damned thing about set building, and the rest were the typical snafus that happened on a job site. At least the carpenters had been chummy enough with him after an hour’s work. Finally! He was able to rejoin the cast!

“Sorry about that…” Caleb murmured to Lucy, brushing a bit of sawdust from his shirt in an absentminded gesture. He felt the slightest bit self-conscious at the fact that he had just gone up and taken care of business.

“Now, if Monsieur Phantom does not have too much sawdust filling his lungs?” Okay, so Ray wasn’t particularly happy either. Eh, screw ‘em! “Since we have our stage back, I’d like to go through Masquerade. Complete with blocking, people! You all know how to waltz, so go to it!” Ugh! Groans of disapproval sounded from everyone, including the chorus that didn’t do much of anything half the nights. All new actors to the area, and happy for any role that they could snatch up. Then how the hell did Caleb manage to wiggle into this role?

“Masquerade! Paper faces on parade!” There were no props yet for this, considering it was basically full costume, so they made do with imaginative props. Wow, that looked tacky as hell! “Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!” Running backstage, Caleb snatched up the rapier that he had used so many times before, thrusting it through a belt loop as he ran behind the staircase, using a ladder installed there so he could walk down the construct as the Phantom. A shitload of work for the actor, but he really didn’t mind. At least he could hide off stage for a while. “Masquerade! Take your fill – let the spectacle astound you!” Oooh, his cue.

“Why so silent, good monsieurs? Did you think I had left you for good?” Caleb had to suppress the urge to giggle wildly at his grandiose portrayal, because it was so damned ludicrous! But it was fun. Damn that Rob! “Have you missed me, good monsieurs? I have written you an opera!” Oh, shit, he had forgotten the leather bound script! Frantically scrambling with his back pocket, Caleb found Ray’s blueprints, and threw them down. Hey, it was fitting! Sort of. “Here I bring the finished score! Don Juan Triumphant! I Advise you to comply, my instructions should be clear. Remember there are worse things than a shattered chandelier…” He wagged a finger at the men that played Andre and Firmin, chastising the duo. Hah!

By the time practice was done with, Caleb felt bone tired, and just wanted to go home and rest. Their things gathered up, and mask still attached to his face, he escorted Lucy out the door and to the Jeep, trying to suppress a yawn and then a groan. It really was a pitiful sight, which was hardly what he intended. Behind the wheel wasn’t much more fun; frankly it didn’t inspire much trust in the driver when they kept yawning! But the pair amazingly made it back in one piece, no thanks to the man with the mask.

“You know what?” Caleb muttered as they walked in the door, depositing their goods beside it. “Ray is a dumbass. He should have built the set out of Lego blocks so he could have understood it!” Still muttering to himself, the agent stole the bathroom to remove the mask, and take a quick shower. It was to the point that he didn’t even care, leaving the door wide open and clothing strewn everywhere. Perhaps he was turning into the typical male! Eh, who knew.

But judging by the groans coming from the stall, that was a damn good shower.

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    Shriek and shy away? Please, she was an Avellino female -- and none of her line had ever shrieked and shied away from anything, up to and including the murders of male family members. In fact, she... more
    • Setting Difficulties — Caleb Holmes, Wed Mar 9 01:57
      • Proving DifficultLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 9 02:55
        You're nothing short of my everything. ~Ralph Block~ Surreal. That's how she would describe the last twenty-four hours. Actually, she could have described the last three months in such a way, but... more
        • Proving... SomethingCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 9 14:20
          Mmm… good shower! Knock-knock … What the hell? “Hey, I just need to brush my teeth and apply makeup. Take five minutes.” Makeup?! Why in the hell would she need makeup after practice? Shrugging to... more
          • Something DecidedLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 9 19:21
            " So, classes start in three weeks - right after the run is finished. I figured since it would take a while to find another play, that we needed some income." She was currently ensconsed on living... more
            • Unknown FactsCaleb Holmes, Thu Mar 10 12:19
              “So, classes start in three weeks - right after the run is finished. I figured since it would take a while to find another play, that we needed some income.” Caleb didn’t say anything, though he... more
              • Fatal EuphoriaLucy Avellino, Thu Mar 10 17:37
                “You don’t have to work if you don’t want to.” Was he nuts? Of course she had to work! Actors didn't get paid nearly as much as ordinary people assumed, and she opened her mouth to day just that, but ... more
                • Euophoric Drinks!Caleb Holmes, Fri Mar 11 00:14
                  “What in the hell did you think you were doing?!” Oh dear, the Phantom was angry, yelling in a subdued fashion at one of the stage hands, who could only stutter when confronted by the man in the... more
                  • Bottoms Up!Lucy Avellino, Fri Mar 11 02:16
                    *Sigh* She'd cracked one eye open in time to catch ahold of her glass, and knock back a toast to Life, the Universe and Everything. Something more might have been said, but at the first touch of his... more
                    • Bottoms are Good!Caleb Holmes, Fri Mar 11 13:58
                      “Past the point of no return - no going back now: our passion-play has now, at last, begun ... Past all thought of right and wrong - one final question: how long should we two wait, before we're... more
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