We stopped a few members of the general public to comment on what they thought of 'Moonbeams in a Jar' so far and their predictions for Part II.
Middle aged man in a V-neck sweater: That Maddie Hayes is too good for the likes of David Addison – like in the dream sequence; I think he's going to screw it up.
Teenage girl with bangs: Oh, they're so into each other but Maddie, she needs to lighten up a bit and give him a chance – it's like she expects him to make a mess of it.
Mom with a baby: He's going to have to do better than a casual date to bag that lady – he needs to keep one step ahead of the game!
Postman: You gotta believe in the love, man! You gotta believe!
Kindergarten teacher: Well, they're just not on the same wavelength at the moment, and that could go either way. I mean, she says space, so he gives her space, but if he read between the lines, he'd realize that's not really the case. Do you get what I mean?
Grandpa: He needs to grow some balls!
Prostitute on Hollywood B: A lady might say one thing but want something entirely different, and I just don't think he gets that.
Cop: It's gonna end in tears!
'Moonbeams in a Jar (Part II)'
David Addison could not believe his luck; Maddie Hayes had actually consented to a date-ette with him. To him, a date-ette was in the rocky land between coffee and a big, serious, guts-on-the-line romantic dinner for two. He must not screw this up. He had a whole afternoon ahead of him to weave the perfect scenario that would simultaneously appear effortless yet romantic. Effortless, in that it needed to look like he just happened to have made a reservation at the new Italian in town – but he had checked it out all ready and was delighted to have noted that the atmosphere was conducive to romance, its ambience was conducive to washing away the strains of the working day: Not too sophisticated, not too shabby, not too light, not too dark...
It was then that Mr. Gray, a new client, walked into the offices of the Blue Moon Detective Agency.
Alarm bells rang loudly in David's head. A client without an appointment, they were usually the worst. They often thoughtlessly ate up more time that the client who booked – it went with the territory. That long afternoon when David would spend hours organizing his and Maddie's effortless date was suddenly on the firing line. He visualized a fragile box of eggs that he had managed to negotiate across a terrifyingly difficult obstacle course being dropped at the last hurdle – and not one egg remained whole. This could not happen. He wouldn't let it happen.
He could see the client approaching the empty reception desk. Where was Agnes? It took this one second of hesitation and before he had time to think (when did David Addison ever think?), he found himself flinging his body into Agnes' chair. The employees stared at him curiously – Agnes' chair was out of bounds to all but the rhyming queen herself, her desk was a no-man's land and the telephone, well – nobody had touched that phone and lived to tell the tale. The phone rang out as the client arrived at the said desk. David held up a waiting hand and picked up.
He coughed and cleared his throat to buy him a little thinking time. 'Blue Moon Detective Agency, we're not at your beck and call this fall, as we're up to our necks and having a ball,' he paused, noticing that all eyes in the outer office were firmly rooted on him. 'Business is booming so get in line, if you don't mind the hiatus then all's pretty fine... sure I understand you wanting to take your business elsewhere, times are booming but be sure to try us again sometime.' He looked up at the client. 'Can I help you?'
'Mr. ... er?' the client foraged.
'DiPesto, Daviiid DiPesto.' The employees fixed him with stares aimed down the barrel of a loaded weapon.
'I'm Mr. Gray, I was wondering if it would be possible to see a detective this afternoon.' He looked terribly hopeful for a moment.
'A detective?' David opened his eyes wide, mimicking Agnes.
'This is a detective agency?' Mr. Gray was now looking doubtful.
'It is,' David smiled a little too widely.
'So?' he inquired.
'Sooooo,' David echoed.
'So do you?'
'Do I what?' David looked perplexed and twiddled a pen between his thumb and forefinger like he had seen Agnes do when she greeted a client that she had not made an appointment for.
'Have any spaces?'
'Oh, we have lots of spaces out in the parking garage,' David answered, chuckling and trying to look as dizzy as possible. 'Do you need to park your car?'
'Look, I'm already parked thank you very much, Mr. DiPesto, what I came in here for was a detective,' he was already losing his patience.
David paused, licked his lips, and lent his head to one side. 'Nah, 'fraid not. We don't have any of those.'
'A detective agency with no detectives? Interesting.'
'Isn't it? They're both indisposed, busy and most probably detecting somewhere important... but you could take a seat, I guess. I can't guarantee how long they'll be, though; you never can tell with those two. Could be a few hours, few days, few weeks...' David rolled his eyeballs as if to communicate those detectives were all such slippery folk.
The client's face fell. 'Look, I really need to see one, I'm desperate...'
'Aren't we all,' David grinned vacuously, ' but it doesn't mean that we can make things just happen because we want it to, does it, Mr. Orange?'
'Gray,' Mr. Gray corrected. 'Are you absolutely certain? I'm willing to pay a large amount of money.'
For a moment, dollar signed flashed across David's Jackpot mind: almost a straight flush but the symbols were soon replaced with pictures of Maddie as he pulled on the Jackpot lever again: ping, ping, ping – three Maddies in a row. The sound of a successful date poured out of the machine, outweighing a large cash check from their client.
Pretending to flick through Agnes' diary he paused, flicked, paused, and shook his head. 'It's not looking good, Mr. Violet.' He looked up at Mr. Gray with a false face full of woe.
'Mr. Gray,' he once more corrected. 'I'll take anything.'
'Anything Mr. DiPesto, anything to see a detective! Please help me Mr...!'
David visibly flinched as the real Agnes DiPesto returned from her toilet break and Miss Hayes had appeared from her office looking fierce. He looked around the outer office as if he were also looking for Addison, along with all of the other employees.
'Scoot!' Agnes shouted with venom, and she stared at him sat in her sacred chair. 'Scoot now, or I'll scoot you myself and you wouldn't like that, Mr. Addison.'
David raised two hands in the air, admitting defeat and looking sheepish. 'Please don't scoot me, Miss DiPesto. I'll give you whatever you want, client book? Telephone? Wilted plant? Just don't scoot me.'
The client looked totally confused and looked from David Addison to Miss DiPesto to Maddie Hayes – trying to figure out which one was the most likely to know what was actually going on. 'I'm sorry,' he began, as he shuffled backwards towards the doorway, 'but I seem to have come to the wrong place. I beg your pardon, I thought this was Blue Moon Detective Agency, but I must be mistaken...'
'It is!' Agnes and Maddie replied in unison, 'we are.' And then: 'You're not!'
Walking boldly towards the client, Maddie raised her hand to shake his. 'I'm Madolyn Hayes, the owner. And you are?'
'Mr. Gray,' he muttered, 'but it's fine. I see you're very busy, so I'll just be going...'
David looked hopeful.
'No, Mr. Gray,' Maddie enthused, shaking his hand vigorously and then under her breath, 'we're never too busy thanks to Mr. Addison.'
'Oh, I was under the impression that this place was flourishing and that it would be impossible to see a detective for the foreseeable future.'
'Oh, you did, did you?' she seethed; glaring at David. 'Well, we just happen to have a free appointment space, don't we, Mr. Addison?'
'We do?' David gulped, disappointed.
'We do,' she emphasized. 'Miss DiPesto?'
'Yes, Miss Hayes?' Agnes reacted, from her correct position behind the desk.
'Please add Mr. Gray to our appointment schedule and send him into my office in five minutes,' Maddie ordered.
Poor Mr. Gray, he looked at Agnes with nervous eyes, unsure if she was who she said she was and who on earth this Mr. Addison was. He wasn't sure he entirely trusted this agency enough to take on his case. He shuffled around, indecisive about his next move. He was considering making a bolt for it when Agnes spoke up and gained his attention; she used her winning smile as she was aware that she needed to undo the damage Mr. Addison had done to her once pristine reputation.
'Mr. Gray, please take a seat and allow me to fetch you a coffee,' she smiled, 'magazine while you wait?'
'Addison!' Maddie's voice, although behind closed doors, could be heard by the entire outer office – it caused the client to jump slightly and spill some of his coffee.
'Won't you please excuse me,' David apologized to the client and Agnes, 'that's my cue for the cane. Ten switches to the back of my hand and one cuff to the head,' he explained in a serious voice. 'It's important not to cry out, or she'll just hit all the harder next time.'
The client's eyes widened with fear as David turned on his heels, a devilish smirk on his face, and strode over to Maddie's office. Before he entered, he turned around once more, dramatically and with a mock-terrified face (for the benefit of Agnes and Mr. Gray). Then he disappeared – also now behind closed doors.
'Are they always like this?' Mr. Gray asked Agnes in a timid voice.
'Sometimes,' she said thoughtfully, 'but not all the time.'
'That's good to know.'
'They always behave themselves when they're on a case!'
'That's also good to know,' he mumbled, sipping his coffee.
A loud crash was heard as something hit Maddie's office door and broke into a million pieces. This was followed by a piercing yell and a succession of smaller objects also meeting their maker against the office door. Then began the verbal volleyball, increasing in pitch with every determined return, each one more incensed than the next until, silence finally rested on Blue Moon.
'Is that a good sign?' asked Mr. Gray.
The employees shook their heads.
'Not usually,' confirmed Agnes, 'they don't usually do cease-fires; they fight until one opponent is down. It's usually Mr. Addison.'
Maddie's office door swung open, and she appeared, a little flushed but very much in control. Hair was smoothed, suit dripping power and her face was a trophy for victory: first place. She, with assured steps, made her way over to where the client was juggling the art of sipping his coffee and reading his copy of the Los Angeles Times. Behind her, strolled the less victorious David, shoulders a little drooped, hair slightly ruffled, and soul worn into the carpet on which he trod.
'See,' confirmed Agnes to Mr. Gray. 'Things never change.'
'Mr. Gray,' Maddie boldly stated, 'Mr. Addison would like to say something to you.'
'I would?' David muttered, hands in his pockets and eyes to the ground.
'You would,' Maddie nodded, still smiling at the client.
'Oh yeah, I would,' he said with sarcasm in his voice. 'Thanks for choosing Blue Moon; won't you step into our office?'
'David?' Maddie warned.
'Oh yeah, right... and er,' he coughed and looked embarrassed, 'I'm sorry for pretending to be our receptionist and putting you off our services, it will um, never happen again.'
'There, now isn't that better?' Maddie patronized, enjoying her momentary power over him.
David gave her a heavy cynical look, sighed, and dug his hands further into his pockets. 'So, um, would you like to accompany us into our office?'
The client hesitated.
'I'd do as you've been asked,' Agnes warned him under her breath.
'So will you take my case?' asked Mr. Gray.
Maddie and David exchanged a furtive glance which could only mean one thing.
'Could I talk to you outside?' they both spoke up at once, adding to Mr. Gray's bank of doubts that he had with this agency.
'Is there a problem?'
'No, not at all,' Maddie and David answered a little too quickly and a little too in sync.
Safely outside the office door, Maddie donned her immovable 'we are not taking this case' look, while David, in opposition, wore his pleading, 'please mom, let's take this case' expression. Both recognized the look on each other's features and sighed in early recognition of the battle to come.
'Maddie, let's save a couple of pages worth of dialogue so we can get to our date quicker...' he pleaded.
'You mean you're going to agree with me, we won't take the case and we can leave work a little earlier so that I can spend an hour getting ready and pretend it only took me twenty minutes?' she smiled, showing a much softer side than she had when she was mad at him – at last they were on the same page right?
'No,' interrupted David, 'I mean yes... no, I mean no...' David looked incredibly nervous.
'You mean no, we're not taking this case, no I shouldn't take an hour to get ready or... no, you don't agree with me?' she looked him straight in the eyes, her pupils flaring slightly.
David was finding it increasingly hard to hold on to his principles here. She was looking so beautiful right now. It was going to take all of his willpower, but he just had to say, in almost a whisper, 'the latter.'
'I can't believe you, David,' she seethed, hands on hips and all within two inches from his face. He could feel her disapproval brush against his skin.
He swallowed and resisted the urge to kiss her in front of God, the office and everybody. 'Maddie,' he dared to proceed, 'it was only fifteen minutes ago that you had me apologize to that man because I put our date in front of business so don't talk to me about putting us first. Of course, I would love it if you put that much effort into getting ready for our date-ette, it would, for the record, delight me beyond measure... not that you need to,' he coughed, a little embarrassed as he was aware that the employees were straining to hear every word, 'you look pretty darn beautiful anyway, to me.'
She softened again, and her mouth twisted into a reluctant and coy smile. 'Thank you, David,' she simpered in a pretty voice. This was immediately proceeded by a pulling together of her faculties. 'I concur,' she continued, 'with the fact that I made you apologize but I am now officially changing my stance on this matter, having now heard the case, I believe it would be a waste of our and the agency's time.'
'Oh, you do?' he gulped, totally taken in by her earlier moment of shyness, it drove him utterly crazy.
'I do,' she swallowed as she stared into his green eyes, remembering back to the moment in the hotel. Her eyes betrayed her, but her voice was adamant. 'The man is in love with a bunch of letters.'
'A bunch of letters?' David choked, 'you kiddin' me? That bunch o' letters, happen to have kept him going through five years of prison. Prison Maddie, not summer camp...'
'Exactly!' she snapped, 'some strange woman, who doesn't really know him from Adam, just through her fantasy world!'
'What's wrong with having a fantasy world?' His eyes travelled up and down her body in slow motion and she blushed, while simultaneously feeling cross, under the intimate scrutiny.
'Because,' she said in a cold voice, 'sometimes, it needs to stay that way: a fantasy.'
'Oh really?' David held her livid stare.
'Yes really!' she repeated, a touch frostier than the first time. 'We are not taking this case.'
'Oh yes we are,' David dared.
'Fine,' she simmered on a low heat.
'If you want to take this case, you take it solo,' she finished. 'Count – me – out. Is that clear?'
'Yes, that's clear,' he looked at her with disappointed eyes.
'Good, then you'll understand what's coming next,' she stated. 'You can also count me out of this evening's – date.'
'So, you admit it was a date?' he looked pathetically hopeful, and she almost backed down.
'I guess we'll never know,' she muttered. 'I'm too angry with you to go on a date with you.'
'But that's business, Maddie,' David pleaded, realizing that this was not going as he'd planned. 'Business, Maddie, as in client hires detectives, they argue over case, someone takes it... end of,' his voice increased in volume as he realized what he stood to lose. 'We, us, we're not business Maddie, we're what happen in between the working days: the good bits – the parts that make it all worthwhile; the reason that we bring home the bacon; the point to our very existence!'
She looked lost, unable to make this differentiation between business and pleasure right now – although she wanted to. 'David, it's not happening this evening,' she sighed, 'let's go home... tomorrow's another day.'
They drove along in self-conscious silence for a few miles. Maddie, looking for something to do, sighed and stared into her over-sized handbag. David also sighed but he chose to stare blindly at the road ahead. Each waited anxiously for the other to break the conversational hiatus, too afraid to say the wrong thing. On more than one occasion they had opened their mouths to speak but had immediately closed them again for fear of a vocal bomb escaping, pin out and ready to explode - probably doing damage on both sides.
Forced to brake abruptly due to a red light David had missed, the BMW screeched in a loud protest. Maddie, lost in the depths of her bag, was jerked forward and hissed a spiky complaint at him.
'What?!' he exclaimed with exasperation, taking his hands off the wheel for a brief moment.
'Are you trying to kill us both?' she spat.
'Now there's a thought,' he retorted angrily. At least the silence had been broken.
'I just don't understand you,' she complained, rummaging around in her bag again - for her lipstick, this time. Whenever she got mad with David, she always resorted to ensuring that her war-paint was in place, it was a control mechanism. The more emotionally wrecked she felt, the more she needed to display an impeccable public face.
'That's okay,' he uttered, 'no one ever has, including all of my grade teachers. David Addison shows great potential but seems happier when goofing around and playing the class clown than knuckling down to serious study... what they didn't get was that I didn't really have any potential and I was better off honing my camaraderie of clown skills in preparation for working with you.' He had that unreadable look he sometimes got on his face when it was impossible to tell if he was being serious or joking around.
'Stop going off track...' Maddie pointed out.
'They said that too,' he stated. 'When asked what I wanted to do with my life, I always winked at them, pulled my trade-mark grin and proudly announced that I wanted to be a professional harp player and deliriously happy.'
'And are you?'
'Well, my harp could do with a polish...'
'In your dreams, Addison,' Maddie rolled her eyes. 'No, the part about being deliriously happy?'
'Oh boy, can't you tell I got that one licked?' he jibed, adding in a voice seeped in sarcasm, 'I can't remember a time when I was having this much fun.'
'I don't understand why you don't agree with me on this one, I really don't.'
David pretended to look for a walkie-talkie in the front of the car, his hand moved across the dash in a sweeping gesture, and he made a true drama over searching for something that wasn't there.
'David, what are you doing?'
'Well, I thought I better find a way to contact Glenn Gordon Caron! When it comes to cases, we never agree - it's a given, set in stone when they created our characters. You say potata, I say potarto, I say rock, you say no, you say never, I say always... I thought you knew how this worked by now!'
'It would just make a nice change,' Maddie said despondently.
'It would also halve the script and cost a lot less to make,' he reminded her.
'Please tell me why you don't think it's a good idea to check out some nut, whose hobby is writing to random felons for fun, who is suddenly madly in love with you even though she doesn't really know you?' She was on a roll now, her eyes glowed, and her cheeks took on a serious shade of red.
'Maddie, I had no idea you felt that way about me!'
Maddie swiped him with her bag, and he swerved the car, resulting in a beep from behind. 'Now who's trying to get us killed?'
'David,' Maddie warned.
'Maddie,' David mocked.
'It makes perfect sense,' Maddie continued, 'you can't really ascertain everything you need to know about someone just through a pile of letters!'
David shook his head as if to clear it, he visually paused in order to prepare for a come-back. He looked at her for a few seconds before resuming eye-contact with the road ahead. 'Okay,' he began, 'what about love?'
'What about love, David, this woman could be a freak posing as a normal person for all we know!' she seethed and then added.
'You don't need a bunch of letters to accomplish that,' he sneered, 'believe me I know!' He fixed her with an accusatory stare.
'Oh, now I'm a freak? Have you looked in any mirrors lately? You'll find more than your reflection there, I'm sure!'
'Maddie, Maddie, Maddie,' he screwed up his eyes and hit his forehead with his palm.
'What?!' Maddie asked crossly, the bag now firmly planted in her lap, arms folded over it to help her refrain from reaching for the mascara; a hint of steam escaping from her ears. 'David?'
'What are we doing?' he continued.
'Disagreeing!' Maddie pointed out the obvious.
He let out an audible sigh and gripped the steering wheel as if he were trying to choke the life out of it. 'I know THAT...I mean THIS, why are we doing THIS?'
'THIS!' he cried out, a little too loudly. 'This bickering, bantering, bitching, biting and many other 'b' words that leave bruises.'
'Oh, that,' Maddie said quietly, fighting a terrible urge to find her perfume and give herself a fresh spritz, or maybe her hairbrush to give her hair a lift.
'We're two mature adults but yet we still can't manage to distance ourselves from a disagreement stemming from the case we're investigating... why can't we just put a cap on this work-related tiff and leave it be; it doesn't always have to pour out into our personal life!'
'Maybe it's not possible!' she cried with anger and frustration.
A sudden wind whipped at the car and dislodged the script that they had been relying upon in this scene, from under the windscreen wiper. They watched in horror as their argument was sucked up into the air, blown this way and that, only to finally land in a bag-lady's trolley as she strolled, forlornly down the LA sidewalk. The lady scooped up the script, took a glance at it, frowned, and screwed it up into a ball that she chucked in her cart with the rest of the rubbish she had accrued over the last two and a half years.
It was official; they would have to finish the scene themselves. At this point, the two of them began to talk over one another at high speed, directionless, neither really listening to the other, far too intent on enforcing their point.
Maddie: ' Maybe it's because we don't have a personal life David, maybe this whole thing was just one ridiculous mistake... one hot, passionate weekend is not the basis for a long-term relationship. The fact that we disagreed on the case reflects a much bigger picture here, we're probably destined to not mutually agree on anything. I knew it, from the moment you talked me in to staying at the agency - I told you then that we had nothing in common: meat balls and spaghetti do not a marriage bed make. We do not think alike, our moral compasses point in different directions, hell they defy nature! I make decisions in a warm bath with a cool glass of wine; you make 'em on the floor of some nasty, cheap bar amongst the dust and dirt. You live life based on your heart and your emotions, me? I like to think things through, weigh up, judge, and then make a decision... just because I prefer to be certain about certain things does not mean that I need to pay for it each and every time. If we did things your way, who knows what would happen!'
David: 'Just because we disagree on a case, doesn't mean it has to affect our personal life Maddie, it just means that we're comfortable enough with each other to take a personal stand. I for one wouldn't want it any other way! I don't want some kind of doormat partner who agrees with everything that I goddamn say - if I wanted that, I could go pick up a random hot chick from Metropolis! Believe me baby, they'd be lined up to have a piece of this finely honed ass - I'd have to beat them off with a stick. We agree on the things that matter and that's the basis of all good relationships; it would be sure-fire boring if we agreed on everything. You just need to loosen up, Miss Hayes, and so what if you haven't thought everything through to the ninth degree - I'm not saying you should completely throw your caution to the wind, just now and again that's all. Look, we both enjoy dancing, laughing, romance, kissing... if you just went with the flow with me, who knows what would happen!'
They both suddenly stopped and looked at one another with intensity; it flood-lit the car. David hastily searched for a place he could safely pull the BMW into and did so. The car came to a stop, as did they. His eyes made direct contact with hers and in them it was possible to discern passion, caring, longing, depth, warmth... Hers conveyed fear of letting go but beneath that burned a cool blue light that was enchanting, mysterious, and playful; they, too, were full of imprisoned desires, and it was clear that an impossible fire burned at the bottom of this lake.
It was impossible to derive who made the first move. David's hands were almost immediately around Maddie's head, sinking into the waves of her hair. He kissed her with such intensity that it shocked them both. It was if his tongue was screaming out all that he really wanted to say, as it desperately searched her mouth for answers in return. She acquiesced hungrily, desperate for his affection from a place that she did not realize existed within her. The heat she felt was more intense than she had known with anybody before, it allowed her to become totally lost, carefree and content to be in this wild moment. She met his tongue with hers, giving into her desire and enjoying him with free abundance. Mouths searched, drank, paused over lips, danced... They eventually pulled away.
They silently stared at one another.
David broke the silence, in a quiet yet husky voice. 'Maddie,' he whispered, '...I don't know what it is about me and you but what I do know is that it feels so goddamn right when we're together.' His eyes were fixed on hers. 'Let's NOT analyze that kiss, let's just accept it for the beautiful, spontaneous thing that it was. Now, I know that tonight is definitely not the right night for a date, there's far too many mixed emotions on the table, but I'd really,' he took her hand softly in his, 'really, like to take you out tomorrow night. Don't think, just say the first thing you feel.' He looked utterly terrified that her instinct would be to retreat, run away, deny.
'Okay,' her voice was also quiet, subdued and so very soft that it melted his heart in that instant. Relief flooded through him.
'Great, then I'll fix something up,' he smiled that little half smile at her, the one that always accompanied a love-sick David. 'Now, I'm going to drop you home so that you can get your beauty sleep, Miss Hayes but you have to promise me that you won't think too hard now.'
'Think too hard?'
'No warm baths, no glass of wine...' he warned.
'Not even if I call you to distract me?' she smiled shyly.
Momentarily, David looked taken aback and then his half smile turned into a grin. 'I guess I could bend the rules but only if you talk nice...'
'I think I can manage that,' she said coyly.
He was filled with happiness that she actually wanted to talk to him on the phone tonight, despite their rip-roaring row and he couldn't stop smiling. He couldn't remember when he had felt this happy. He was still holding her hand, so he lifted it to his lips and planted the softest baby kiss upon it. 'It's a date.'
'Addison residence,' David purred into the phone, instinctively knowing that the caller was Maddie.
'It's me,' she smiled.
'Who's me?' he played along as he unconsciously stuck his toe in the hot water faucet.
'Me, me,' she repeated as she lay back in the decadent bubbles.
'Oh, I'm sorry to disappoint you Mimi but I'm waiting for a call from another hot blonde I know...'
'Oh really?' Maddie toyed as she enjoyed the feeling of the hot water as it helped soothe away the day's bumps in the road. 'And should I be jealous of this other blonde?'
'Oh, most definitely,' he chuckled as he dropped the slippery soap into his bath water with a splash, 'she's claaaassssy,' he used his special tone that he reserved for seducing women – somehow, he felt more comfortable using it on Maddie when she was on the other end of a telephone – he felt more confident somehow. 'She's really, really clever... she's -' he paused.
'Yes?' Maddie blushed, despite being a fair few miles away from the voice on the other end of the phone.
'...extremely beautiful,' he almost whispered, 'you see, she has these incredible blue eyes, this gorgeous blonde hair that I want to touch all of the time,' he was becoming more comfortable which each confession, 'creamy, soft skin that I want to kiss and perfect curves that I want to trace with my fingertips...'
Then she suddenly stopped. 'David?'
'You rang?' he responded, as he slipped further into his bathtub.
'Are you in the bathtub?'
'How did you guess?'
'I'm a detective, David,' she complained, 'I heard you lose the soap.'
'Is this a bad thing?' he asked carefully.
'Yes,' she sounded embarrassed, 'because I'm in mine too.' She could feel herself blush again.
'I told you we had things in common,' he laughed. 'Well, Miss Hayes,' he continued, 'I'd kind of hoped that the first time we got naked together, it would at least be in the same building!'
'David, stop it,' Maddie warned in a shy voice.
'Stop what?' he asked.
'That,' she confirmed. 'That flirting.'
'But I always flirt,' he offered.
'Yes, but not when we both know what we know,' she warned.
'But knowing what we both know, doesn't that make it just that little bit more exciting?' he claimed.
'No, knowing what we both know just makes me feel embarrassed,' she said with honesty.
'No need to feel embarrassed, I kind of love knowing what I know,' he chuckled again; 'don't you like the thought that you know, know what I mean?' His voice was so seductive that it was beginning to sound dangerous to Maddie.
'I'm going to put the phone down now,' she stated.
'Spoil sport,' he muttered.
'I'm not quite ready to stop feeling angry with you about earlier,' she continued, 'so, I'm going to hang up now before I say something that I regret. I will see you at the office tomorrow David and,' she paused, 'I'll look forward to our date.'
'Good night Maddie,' David sighed but he couldn't quite keep the smile from his voice. 'You drive me crazy.'
'I know,' he could detect a softening to her voice again. 'Good night David, see you in the morning. 'Oh, and David?'
'I quite liked knowing what I knew,' she said in a quiet voice. 'It was a good kind of embarrassed.' Click.
And she was gone.
The morning Californian sun had risen despite the smog attempting to hold it back.
'You know you didn't have to come,' David said as they exited the BMW, 'I'd finally respected your decision to stay out of this case.'
'No bother David,' Maddie smiled, 'to be honest with you, I'm... curious.' Clearly, she had indeed done some thinking last night and this was her way of making the peace.
'You're curious Maddie?'
'Curious,' she nodded to herself, 'I kind of want to know if she's the real deal, or a bunny boiler...'
'Maddie, you're a genius!'
'You am,' he laughed, 'you just divided the entire female species into two distinct groups- who says women are complicated?'
Maddie sighed and rolled her eyes. She looked up at the ugly grey building that was California's state prison. It had no redeeming features to alleviate the practicality of it, causing the barbed wire that ran across the top to stand out all the more. It looked, in a word, unwelcoming.
'Welcome to the Folsom blues,' David echoed her thoughts. 'I know that I promised you something romantic for our first date, but this was all I could manage at such short notice. I hear that they do a mean prison stew in here and that it all kicks off at noon...but that's okay coz it's lights out at 9...' He batted his eyelids and blew her a kiss.
'It's not very cheerful,' Maddie observed.
'Maddie, it's a prison - there's no deluxe version,' he smirked as he checked whether he had locked up the car.
'I know David, it's just so...gray,' she pondered.
'The color or the client? You don't have to come in with me,' he stated, 'in fact I'd feel a lot more comfortable if you were to stay and wait for me in the car.'
'Why?' Maddie looked at him innocently.
'Why?' he looked perplexed, 'why? Maddie this is a male prison and you're probably the best thing that's walked through those doors since it was built!'
'Thank you, David,' Maddie smiled.
'S'okay,' he muttered, not allowing her to distract him from his flow. 'Maddie have you ever been in a prison?'
'Um, let me think about that for a minute: I've never been in prison, my family and friends have never been in prison and therefore I have never had cause to visit one so no David, I have never been inside a prison,' she had started to sound a little cross. 'It's kind of why I wanted to tag along... I'm...'
'...Curious,' they both said in unison.
Maddie was all wide eyes, like a tourist visiting New York for the first time, as she entered the reception area of the prison. She noticed several different queues and was uncertain which one they would need. 'David, where do we line up?'
'Maddie,' David coughed, embarrassed, ' this is not the queue for the Matterhorn, can you try and not sound so delighted about being here.'
'David this is a new experience for me,' she beamed as she picked a queue and joined the end of it. The miscreants in front of her couldn't help but stare at the shiny, beaming prom queen who looked as out of place as...well, as a prom queen at the California State Correctional Facility.
'What? And you think that this is a regular morning occurrence for me? It's parked somewhere between the alarm going off and my first shave of the day... oh yes, don't forget the regular morning visit to Folsom - never forget to Folsom!' He rolled his eyes and sighed as he caught sight of the nose-ringed visitors in front of them who were staring at Maddie as if she were the warm-up act at a stage show.
'So, what's this queue for?' she asked enthusiastically.
'Fingerprints and photographs,' he mumbled. 'You ready for your mug-shot hot stuff?'
'Remind me again why we're going to see Sean Preston?' Maddie whispered into David's ear as they walked down the last corridor to the main visiting hall. Maddie had not been impressed with the fact that they had had to be frisked as a prerequisite for meeting Sean and had lost a little of her earlier enthusiasm.
'Sean also wrote to Amelia Templeton, looks like she had quite a bevy of burly prisoners on the go,' he sounded disappointed, and his smile had lost some of its edge. 'A regular writing-be.'
'So, I was right?' Maddie asked casually.
'About what? That we were both talking naked last night over a tub of bubbles?' he attempted to blow some of the wind away from her over puffed sales. 'About that...'
'About nothing David, this is hardly the place to be having that conversation...' she bristled.
'I think it's the perfect place to be having that conversation,' he interrupted, ' I always like to talk dirty after a good frisking.'
'David,' Maddie complained.
'Oh, too late Maddie, here comes our con,' David observed as a strapping man, in his mid-thirties, strolled over to where they sat in wait. He wore the usual orange jump-suit, but it strained over his well-worked muscles. He wore a puzzled look on his face, obviously wondering why he had an extra visitation this morning. He took his allocated seat, the red one, the one that marked him as the prisoner and not the visitor.
'Can I help you?' he drawled.
'David Addison,' David introduced himself, 'and this is my boss, Maddie Hayes... we're here on business.'
'What kind of business?' he demanded, looking as if he were ready to spring up out of his seat and leave them sitting there. However, he paused as he noticed how attractive Maddie was and settled further into his seat. 'With you at the helm darling, I expect it's a very popular business.'
Maddie's cheeks flushed and David continued to talk in order to save her dignity. 'We both work for Blue Moon Investigations, and we have a few questions that we would like to ask you.'
He laughed loudly; it was almost a guffaw. 'I did it!' he confessed with bravado. 'I did the crime, was found guilty and now I'm doing my time... you guys are a little late.'
'Actually, it has nothing to do with your crime,' Maddie sounded a peevish; 'it's to do with an Amelia that you have been exchanging letters with.'
'Amelia?' he sounded taken aback. 'She was kind of fun...haven't heard from her in a while... she seemed like a nice girl, what's she done to get private dicks involved?'
'She hasn't done anything wrong,' David pressed forward, 'apart from writing to guys like you for a hobby. Could you describe the sort of correspondence that you enjoyed with her?'
'Amelia is a favorite pen-pal around here, especially for guys like me,' his voice attempted to soften but grit still clung to it. 'I don't have anyone who gives a hoot in hell about me, but she made me feel like I did. We only ever exchanged thoughts, anecdotes, and memories, but it was just having someone to talk to you know? It made me feel less lonely somehow. She was an important connection for me with the world outside... I sure miss her letters.'
'She stopped writing?' Maddie quizzed him as he gave her legs a good once over. She firmly crossed them.
'Yessir,' he sighed. 'Wrote me that she'd made a connection with one of the prisoners who was getting out soon - that she was going to try to make a go of it with him. Made me sad, I knew I'd miss those letters and I had kind of hoped that she had a special connection with me. I never even met her, but I felt like I knew her, so I guess I actually felt betrayed. Feel a little stupid saying that, but when you only have these four walls and a bunch of prison wardens to stare at all day, I guess water can taste like wine!'
'I guess it can,' David sympathized. 'So, you say she corresponded with lots of the guys?'
'Yeah, a whole bunch of 'em.'
'And they all said the same about the contents of those letters?' David continued with his investigation.
'Pretty much,' he concurred. 'But I bet my last dime that they were all hoping for the same thing: a special connection. That Gray is one lucky guy.'
'So,' Maddie was absorbing the answers as David asked the questions. 'None of you doubt her intentions?'
'You don't?' she delved further.
'Well, there are a few of the men who helped spread some vicious rumors about her but again, this is a small world here at Folsom, and rumors are almost better than a chance to watch 'Wheel of Fortune',' he smiled to himself.
'Tell us about the rumors,' David inquired.
'Well, some guy, probably pissed her off in his letters or something, coz he put it around that she was only visiting some of her pen-pals because she had a little fling going on with one of the prison wardens... then it escalated that she was buttering him up just to get Gray out of prison earlier, you know, favors an' all? Of course, then one rumor led to another, and people started to talk about Gray not really being her man and that the two were in cahoots. Hogwash is what it is, that girl hasn't got a bad bone in her body.'
'Which prison warden?' David asked.
'Teddy, Teddy Smith - he had the eye goin' for her!'
David hurled the BMW keys at Maddie. 'Wait in the car.'
'Again?' she looked furious. 'David why?'
'I'm going to follow this lead, Teddy Smith - see if it throws up any suspicion regarding our dear spotless Amelia,' he explained.
'Wait, let me get this right, are you agreeing with me that she might not be the real thing?' Maddie's mouth hung open in mock shock.
'Careful, if the wind changes direction you'll freeze like that,' he chuckled, 'good for me but not so good for you!'
'Addison you belong in a sordid sex shop!'
'At last, someone, who recognizes my natural calling!'
'David, I'm going to drive home, I have an important date to get ready for.
'Do I remember? Are you kidding? It's at the forefront of my mind- most important thing that's happened to me since I discovered chocolate milk!'
'So, you'll be okay investigating this lead whilst I make my appointment at the salon?'
'Salon? Wait, I thought we agreed this one was just a date-ette,' he looked worried as he thought about the deliberately casual date he had been working on.
'Oh no biggie,' she smiled, 'I always see my hairdresser same time every month - hair was just due for some attention is all.' She attempted to make it sound unimportant.
'Well, I got this end in my more than capable hands, so I'll meet you back at the office later this afternoon,' he said in a soft voice.
'No, let's meet right there at the restaurant,' Maddie suggested. 'I'm not sure how long the appointment's gonna take, and I want to go home and change afterwards because those stray hairs sneak into your clothes and itch like crazy.'
He winked. 'We wouldn't want to irritate that skin,' he purred, and Maddie's heart skipped a beat at the sound. 'So, at the restaurant it is then. The reservation is made for seven.'
'Okay David,' she finally replied in an equally soft voice, 'see you there.'
Maddie pulled up outside the restaurant at 6:50 and hesitated for a moment. Normally, she would have thought it better tactics to enter the restaurant about 10 minutes after the agreed time, to make an impressive entrance, to keep the anxiously waiting man on his toes. Then she laughed at herself.
'Yeah, right,' she murmured and turned off the engine. Those tactics would be completely lost on David. She heavily doubted that he would already be sitting at their table, impatiently waiting for her - having been on time! 'Ain't gonna happen, Blondie,' she drawled, mimicking David's trademark low voice. Chuckling softly to herself, she entered the restaurant in good humor. It was a rather casual and not too elegant place, but nevertheless cozy.
She asked for the reserved table, and when the waiter led her there, of course there was no David waiting for her, nervously clasping his hands. She smiled, still in good humor. You gotta accept the dog's limitations.
'A glass of Chardonnay, please,' she ordered after she had sat down.
Two minutes later, the waiter had placed the chilled glass and the menu in front of her and retreated. She didn't open it, but she did look at her watch. One minute to seven. Maddie took a sip of her wine; it flowed pleasantly and coolly down her throat, and an immediate unfolding warmth in her stomach reminded her of the fact that she hadn't eaten very much today (due to their crazy day at the prison). She was really looking forward to the evening, although she was a little nervous. But things between her and David seemed to be developing in a good way. Well, she had to admit that it was a little crazy – and the thought of their "shared" bubble bath the previous evening made her blush a little, although nothing had happened that she needed to be embarrassed about. Well, at least only a good embarrassed, she remembered the words she had whispered to David right before ending the phone conversation, and her blush deepened. She allowed herself to revel for a few moments in the memory.
Maddie took another sip of her wine and fought the momentary urge to touch the chilled glass to her burning front. She stole another glance at her watch and frowned slightly: 7:10 - she sighed, a little disappointed now. After all, this was not a casual business meeting, it was a date. Date-ette, as David said, but clearly a date. Their date. Their first date. Even knowing David Addison the way she knew him already, she had expected him to show up at least almost on time. Didn't he regard this as a special, a very special occasion?
She sighed again and took another sip, and suddenly the song that was softly playing in the background caught her attention. The woman's voice was smoky.
We've been patient, waiting for the right time,
Knowing that it would be wrong to run,
But tonight, I know the time for love has come.
Maddie snorted and couldn't help but look at her watch again – 7:15 – and then at the entrance door of the restaurant. Still no David. She couldn't help thinking back to the dream she had experienced just the other night - she hoped it had not been an omen.
Good things come to those who wait,
And we waited long enough, for the time for love is right.
'Yeah, I'm the head waitress, as usual,' Maddie growled to herself, and a middle-aged couple sitting at the next table threw her a suspicious glance. She smiled apologetically and rose the glass to her lips again while the smoky voice continued:
Good things come to those who wait.
Now I'm ready for your lovin', so let's make love tonight.
Maddie slammed down her glass, and a few drops of the golden liquid spilled on the peach-colored tablecloth which made her even angrier. She took a deep breath to calm down; it didn't help. She could literally feel the steam rise inside her, and there was nothing she could do about it. And she didn't even know what made her angrier – the fact that David was late (which showed her that he obviously didn't take this date – okay, date-ette – too serious. And that hurt. More reason for anger, also at herself for being so silly.); the fact that she had been so naïve to expect it would be different this time; the fact that the whole restaurant was witnessing that she had been stood up; or, and this was the most likely - the deepest and rawest source of her anger, the fact that she was so goddamn disappointed that she could painfully feel her guts clench. It was a response to the fact that she had desired David's company so much that she knew her fury could crumble like a leftover Christmas cookie if only he would come in right now and throw her one of his wicked lopsided grins, accompanied by a twinkle of his green eyes.
'Is something wrong with the wine, ma'am?' the waiter's voice woke her from her twirling thoughts. He had approached her table without her noticing him.
'No... no, thanks, it's...' damn, she even started to stammer now! She looked at her watch: 7:35. With determination, she cleared her throat. 'No, thank you,' she repeated in a rough voice, 'the wine is splendid. I just remembered that I have urgent business to attend.' She fished a ten-dollar bill from her purse and put it on the table, rising to her feet at the same moment, suddenly desperate to leave.
Without waiting for an answer, she rushed out of the restaurant.
When she was sitting in her car, driving home, her fists clenched the wheel so tight her knuckles were white.
'I should have known,' she muttered under her breath, still furious, 'I should have known!'
To be continued...
"Good Things Come to Those Who Wait" by Nayobe