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Lucy Avellino [& Penny]
The Beat Goes On
Wed Apr 13, 2005 17:44

I am not going to throw up!

Dozens of hands shoved playbills and pictures at her, begging for autographs and smiles. Flashes from the few members of the press present kept trying to blind her, making it difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of the stage door session. This was easily the most attention she’d ever received for a role, and while a huge part of it was gratifyingly soothing to her ego, there was another part of her that wanted to run away and hide.

My god, this is what celebrities go through. Am I one now? Can’t be – I definitely haven’t received a million dollar check for anything.

She handed a signed cast photo back to the young man hovering anxiously in front of her, attention caught by the ‘Hope Diamond’ sitting innocently on the fourth finger of her left hand. Lips still bruised from the kiss Caleb had planted on her right after officially shackling himself to her. Or rather, promising to officially shackle himself to her at a future date. Oh boy. An army of butterflies marched through her gut again.

It didn’t help catching sight of Rob’s bald head floating past when she turned to grab a picture for Marian from one little old lady with honest-to-God blue hair. Hell, even Penny wandered past, deep in conversation with the choreographer about the Hannibal and Triumphant. Faces withdrew back into the crowd, replaced by new ones bearing familiar pictures and a fresh round of praise.

Another peek at the engagement ring, its cold sparkle both a weighted comfort … and an object that she would be very glad to trade for a band of gold. The subject had never really come up, but Lucy wasn’t a big fan of diamonds. She had been in her early teens, like all little girls, but after seeing a PBS special on blood diamonds … the inhuman conditions of those West African pits had broken any fondness for the gem. For now, though, she would wear this one until the day she and Caleb exchanged their vows in front of a priest. Hmm, maybe there was a way to broach the subject of hand designed rings, something along the lines of a Claddaugh inspired bit of jewelry.

“Oh, Miss Avellino. I just have to tell you that your appearance at the back of the House for ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ was just inspired.” The leering college boys had been replaced with a trio of high school drama students, to judge by their identical tee shirts, and one had obviously been elected as the mouthpiece. The singer grinned, her first relaxed one of the evening.

“Thank you. It was a process getting around the side of the building in heels before I was due out there, but David thought we should try something different for the final performance.” She leaned closer, imparting a little secret “We didn’t tell ANYONE, so it was a surprise to the cast as well.” Giggle. Caleb’s expression had been worth almost twisting her ankle while easing her way through the audience and onto the stage. Since the entire building had been figuratively blown away, it was worth the effort.

Then Rob called Caleb away from the door, and Marion slid into his place – annoying some of the Christine groupies by reaching out and straightening the few ties being worn, tsking away in her haughty voice. “Zees ees no good! Carlotta say zees tie go!” Of course, with her slightly revealing costume, the woman garned a few fans of her own. Within minutes everyone was giggling at her antics, and Lucy forgot about her lover’s abrupt disappearance. Besides, she was being inundated with flattery again, and actors adored that. This one was honest enough to admit it.

“LUCY! Lucy!”

Strong fingers closed around her wrist out of the blue, gently tugging her away from the teenager gushing about how she was going to play Christine someday. Quickly murmuring apologies, Lucy found herself gently hustled through the backstage crowd to five or six individuals ranging in age from …early seventies to a kid around her own age. Confusion laced itself radiantly across her expectant features. Caleb seemed ready to vibrate right out of his shoes, so something odd had occurred.

“Lucy, hon… This is my father, James.”


Breathe caught in her throat, instinctively pressing closer against the oaf’s side, wishing the ground would open up and swallow her. It wasn’t hard to figure out which side of the law Caleb’s father would be on, and things only deteriorated from there. He had two sisters, both of whom just pulled her away from the safety zone and pressed kisses against her cheek European style. His brothers, all three of them, did the same – their congratulations barely heard over the blood roaring through her ears. And then … his father hugged her! The whipped cream topping was another libido stoking kiss – in front of his entire family! At this point, it was safe to assume Luce couldn’t make heads or tails of what to do.

So when the decision was made to take this … madcap event away from the theatre, she just nodded, figuring agreement was the quickest way out of the theatre. “I … let me go change,” the brunette managed, completely forgetting that she shared a room with Caleb. Ha! Extracting herself with all the grace of an elephant trying to avoid a mouse, the actress fled from the overwhelming presence of the Holmes clan and sought sanctuary – alone – in the dressing room. Shaking hands tried to undo the clasps down her back unsuccessfully, rescued a few minutes later by Himself.

“Are you … okay?” What an inane thing to ask? Was she OKAY? No. “Terrified,” came the admission, trembling frame a visible truth to her statement. Shaking like a leaf, actually. Torn between begging for an instant flight out of New York and being brave, Lucy turned around when he was done undoing her dress and just shivered in his arms. It took several long minutes before she finally pulled away, looking a little less frantic.

“Okay. Let’s do this.”

Thankfully, her voice held only a tiny tremor. Mature Luciana was back in control. Sort of.

“Luuuuuuuucy, we’re home!”

The latest arrivals sent off a round of laughter in the living room, prompting another blush to spread across the hostess’s cheeks. Barely one glass of wine and she was already buzzing, or maybe it was the fear of her future in-laws that kept her nerves floating almost pleasantly. Trapped on the sofa between Moira and Bennett, one trying to pry theatre gossip out of her and the other lamenting on the lack of proper rock and roll; it was beginning to get to her again.

So when Hugh returned with more refreshments (alcoholic and otherwise), she leapt on the chance to put them away herself. Unfortunately, her plot was foiled not three steps from the couch when Devon took the opportunity to start badgering her about mob activities. Purely curiosity on the man’s part, how often did one have a real mob princess taken captive, but the onslaught of questions upped her stress factor even further.

Just two hours ago she had agreed to marry Caleb, blithely unaware he had been raised with a pack of mental patients. However unfair the description, Lucy stuck to it – not one of his siblings seemed to understand the concept of personal space or ‘no question too intimate’. A complete turn around for someone raised as an only child inside a tranquil, lovely prison.

“Did your grandfather ever bring any of his cronies over? Lou Santorini? Joe Piazzo?” The last name produced a visible flinch. Physically pushing away from Devon, poor guy, she fled past Ben and Hugh out the front door and wound up on the porch. A witch’s moon winked down at her, radiating cold serenity through whispy clouds. Just twenty four hours of peace and quiet – that’s all she needed!

She got five minutes.

“You look like you could use a drink, Miss Avellino.”

Having settled down ungracefully on the steps, Lucy turned away from her contemplation of the neighboring houses, freezing at the sight of Caleb’s father looking altogether too stern for her liking … and offering a glass of what appeared to be ale. Feeling decidedly a little left of reality, she nodded and started to rise.

“No, sit down. I’ll join you.” And he did. James Holmes settled himself at her side with all the grace of his son, despite the advanced years. He handed over the promised drink, watching intently while she self consciously took a drink. “Lovely evening.” Ah, yes. First really stupid comment to your future father in law. Way to go!

Let the old man make the next move … as long as it didn’t involve being arrested.

Meanwhile, Penny had found herself involved in a heated debate over whether or not one could classify so-called ‘boy bands’ as actual music. Propped on the kitchen counter, legs dangling over the edge, she and Caleb’s sister Jane were arguing with Nigel that the Beatles counted as the very first boy band but the groups today should all be taken out and shot.

His response was to start listing all the sugar candy girl groups that currently littered the airwaves. Penny took offense at the Bangles – sure they were old 80’s stuff, made around the time she was born, but at least they had written half of their own stuff. The dancer was so involved in the discussion that she failed to notice Sean wander past to get himself a glass of juice from the fridge.

“Seriously, Nigel. You cannot compare someone like Roger Daltrey with the refuse they try to pass off as singing today! I don’t care how many weeks that Jennifer Lopez spends on the charts. She sucks, plain and simple. It’s like comparing a Scottish broadsword to one of those Middle Earth rip-offs, the elven swords with the handles that keep coming loose.”

Penny leaned back, trying not to smirk, and found to her displeasure that the counter didn’t extend that far. The ground was rushing up at a rapid pace. Oh dear.

    • Anarchists UntieCaleb Holmes, Wed Apr 13 23:40
      “Is she all right?” Caleb frowned, watching Lucy take off for the dressing rooms like a drunken fool. He knew this was difficult; hell, it was difficult for him ! His head still swam, even with Moira ... more
      • Voicing WorriesCaleb Holmes, Thu Apr 14 04:50
        Caleb didn’t find sanctuary upstairs either. Well, there were a great deal of theater rats settling in to party the night out, and he could foresee a fleet of taxis in their near future. He allowed... more
        • Table for ... Twelve?Lucy Avellino, Sat Apr 16 15:46
          The taxi had collected Penny barely an hour after dawn, driver politely ignoring the sob fest between the two girls. One would think they were never going to see each other again, but the last week... more
          • Overdue DiscussionsCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 17 00:46
            “Nope.” Nope?! Oh God, he was going to hyperventilate. “I’m deliriously joyful, Caleb. Happy isn’t lavish enough to describe how I feel about you.” That had to be one of the most equally romantic and ... more
            • Toasts and WedgesCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 17 00:48
              It was only mildly worrying that Lucy had never returned home from her shopping trip with Moira. “I need to get that girl a cellphone…” Caleb muttered to himself, staring up toward the bedroom... more
              • With Strumpets BlaringLucy Avellino, Mon Apr 18 23:57
                “Okay, no one wants to hear any more about that, Jane!” Lucy waited until James had stood and embarrassed every one of his offspring with toasts before grinning at Jane across the table. “I most... more
                • Dethroned!Caleb Holmes, Tue Apr 19 02:58
                  He had been utterly, thoroughly humiliated. Jane just wouldn’t stop with the telling of stories he had thought long since dead. God, he couldn’t even begin to describe how unnerving it was to have a... more
                  • DefloweredLucy Avellino, Thu Apr 21 19:03
                    “What’s your name and what part are you auditioning for?” Aha, a repeat of Caleb’s fantastic performance. Well, not really. Lucy went from being a self-contained twenty-one year old to sixteen, all... more
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