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Luciana Holmes/ Penny
Tick, Tock
Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:44
69.111.101.81

Ten seconds.

That was all it took for Matteo to pull Caleb aside during the festivities and hand over a set of plane tickets for a European honeymoon, starting in Milan. For the members of the press who had snuck in and were spying, it was an astounding scoop. The couple would no doubt stop in Florence to visit the Medici seat of power, and the thought that one of them might be assigned to shadow the Holmes's was a heady one.

Except that with the transferring of the tickets, the wily old man had also slipped his grandson-in-law a set of car keys, his directions to the point and spoken in a whisper.

" Go to the American Airlines and check in for your flight. There is a car waiting for you in the daily parking garage, top floor. Black Volvo. Two suitcases full of new clothing, enough for two weeks in the trunk, and a wallet of funds under the front seat. Promise me that you will let Andrea know where you are in two weeks so he can arrange security."

Caleb gave a nod, expression eyeing the tickets in 'delight'. Matteo could imagine the annoyance the man must feel, having this aspect of his married life mapped out, but the Italian was not going to take any chances with his granddaughter's safety. A ruse would have her friends and enemies alike looking for her an ocean away, thus providing the singer with a real honeymoon. It was the least he could do for the girl.

And now, for his reward!

The redhead was standing with the ballerina named Penny, both sipping from champagne flutes left over by the riotous toasts during the afternoon meal. Caleb's best man had proven his worth with an inspiring salute to the newlyweds, completely in Italian.

"Miss Holmes, would you care to dance?"

Moira favored him with one of her generous smiles, allowing him to lead her onto the dance floor smoothly to the dulcet voice of Andrea Bocelli. The blind singer was not actually there, but the DJ had brought along some continental tastes. As always, he admired both her beauty and her clever little brain. Both would come in very useful.

"My dear," he absently brushed against her nose with his own, an unconsciously affectionate gesture normally reserved for one's mistress. "Would you like to visit the Louvre? Paris? Venice?" At her startled expression, Matteo grinned - his expression making him seem far younger than he was. "Then come with me. I want to show my world to you."

They were on their way to London by eight o'clock that evening, long before anyone thought to put the disappearance of both Moira Holmes and Matteo de Medici together. But there was a message on her father's answering machine, and her passport was mysteriously absent from its wall safe.




Penny eyed the Holmes residence with a sigh, then clambered out of the passenger seat of Sean's truck. He'd rescued her from the Actor's Playhouse and a very demanding David Daniel MacAllister. The director had apparently set his sights on her as a stand-in for Lucy in the romantic sense and as the newly hired "resident choreographer",

Her chauffer headed inside just steps ahead of the dancer, vanishing up to the second level. Assuredly he meant to wake up John, as they had a breakfast date for the morning. Penny had caught a ride out of self pity, and the chance to escape David's lechery.

Twitch.

Men were pigs. All of them. Minus Sean and John. That produced a mental snort of amusement, there was no other way to react to those linked names. Idle movement drew her into the kitchen, from the pantry to the counter with a fresh can of coffee. The least she could do for her favorite odd couple was brew some java before they headed off and left her alone.

Oooo. More pity.

Penny was happy to lay the blame at her best friend's feet, gone for a week now to God knew where. They called Andrea every morning to report their position via a code that Caleb himself had set up to confound any wiretapping. That was why she'd come so early - a chance to talk to Lucy in person, to make sure that the brunette was alright.

Huff huff.

Coffee took less than ten minutes to make, and Penny found herself staring out the kitchen window, sipping from a steaming mug as Sean and John tromped downstairs, both wearing jeans and polo shirts of varying colors. Two masculine grunts issued before the door slammed, and she watched from her vantage point as the Hulk fit himself into the actor's mid sized pickup.

An hour later the dancer was curled up on a bus seat, spirits sunk even lower. Andrea had been nowhere to be found, that meant no chance to talk to Lucy, which denied her a reason to be at the house. So she'd locked up and walked the few blocks to a bus stop. Only one place she could think of going, even if it housed a pothead. Penny wasn't afraid of him; David was sleazy but harmless. And he had put her on the staff. While it wasn't the NYC Ballet, it did pay reasonably well -- and there were no open spots there anyway.

Yet.

Christ, Pen. Pull yourself together. Stop whinin', start workin'. After the mental shake, she extracted herself from the vinyl chair as the bus slowed to a halt, allowing her and a handful of others off in the Village. Faint aroma of incense and beer permeated the air, bringing a smile to the girl's lips.

"Penelope. The faithful wife of Odysseus."

Fear. It slammed through her frame like a bolt of lightning, propelling the ballerina around to face Devon Holmes. He stood in the middle of the sidewalk, tall and menacing in slacks and a work shirt. His eyes were perfectly clear, and she could smell no alcohol on him.

"Leave me alone."

The flight won out over the fight as legs spun for a second time, urging her down the pavement towards her place of employment. But Devon's legs were longer, his stride easily catching up to her own. "The streets are unsafe here, Penny. Allow a gentleman to escort a … lady," the subtle inflection made the title an insult rather than a compliment.

Or perhaps that was just her imagination?

Not that it mattered, his hand had curled around her arm resolutely; practically pulling her along in his wake. "How is dear Luciana doing? Does she enjoy--" Something powerful there, she couldn't put a definate label.

Anger replaced fear, planting her feet on the ground not three yards from the stage door. "None of your business, Devon. Go away before I call the police." OH, big threat there. An empty one he apparently recognized.

"I am the police, Penelope."

He seemed about to say more, but a glance over her shoulder changed his mind. "Be seeing you." The cop's large frame melded back into the crowd. Penny slumped against the side of the building, willing herself not to throw up.

"Water?"

Andrea Turino was standing in the small alley, a cigarette dangling from one hand, a bottled water being offered in the other. His expression, as always, was inscrutable.

She nodded, fingers faintly shaking as she took the cold liquid and wet her dry throat. Hiding her terror from the Italian was an impossibility, but that didn't mean Penny enjoyed playing the coward. "Thank you, Mister Turino."

His bottle returned, the dancer bobbed her head politely before seeking the safety of the theatre. South Pacific would begin rehearsals soon after Caleb and Lucy returned, and Penny was only halfway done with the choreography. Vanishing into a dressing room, she stripped off her jeans and climbed into the baggy shorts that she preferred to work in, along with a particularly hideous green leotard. Lime, yum yum.

Most of the house lights were off, stage lights dimmed while a technician sat in the front row with a pile of colored light gels and a script. There was a portable stereo next to him.

"Could you put the score on for me?"

Penelope Alexander gave herself over to Younger than Springtime, unaware she was being observed.




[OOC: I apologize for the terrible post, but it gets things rolling eh? Hee. ]

    • Glimpses of ScenesCaleb Holmes, Fri Aug 26 21:51
      Frankly, Moira was downright pleased with herself. Everything for the wedding had turned out marvelously, even the silver lanterns that hung in bunches above every table – which she hadn’t been... more
      • 42nd Street BluesLuceh / Penneh, Sun Aug 28 13:47
        Moira was … intriguing . Matteo watched her wander through the Medici compound's gardens from his balcony, admiring the curvy figure resplendent in Parisian silk. The ivory hue complemented her... more
        • Preparations!An Assembled Cast, Sun Aug 28 23:23
          She absolutely loved it here! Moira’s gaze slid longingly through the same gardens she had traipsed about nearly every evening since they had remained at Matteo’s home. Well, homestead. Plantation.... more
          • Many Happy ReturnsCaleb Holmes, Mon Aug 29 01:19
            “We just had to come back home during rush hour, didn’t we hon?” Caleb sighed, staring ahead at the line of cars that blocked his path home. Move you bastards, move! Absently, he reached over and... more
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