Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beautiful Dream Award Winners

by Soapgeek

New York City…2 years ago

It’s not every day that you have to question whether you’ll live through the night.   As a matter of fact, when you’re an actress, that doesn't usually top your list of concerns. Usually your focused on your current job, career longevity, and who your biggest competition in the industry may be. 

With that in mind, Elizabeth Webber felt completely out of her comfort zone today. While she was an actress - and a good one at that, she had never thought she would be using those skills while not before an audience or camera.

Tonight was Opening Night for Romeo and Juliet on Broadway and Elizabeth Webber had landed the lead. Unfortunately the average person working on the show, or coming to sit in the audience, or even strolling by the theater had no idea how dangerous it was to be there. Sure they told her that she was safe, they had it under control; but did they really? Who exactly were they anyway? 

As if living through the night wasn’t enough stress, the success or failure of the show was also looming over Elizabeth, putting further weight on her already over burdened shoulders. You never saw a Shakespeare play done on Broadway these days; it wasn’t considered a big draw. Shakespeare was done in the park during the summer, or in small local theaters. The average tourist coming to New York wanted to see singing witches or dancing Disney characters;at least that is what the cast and crew of this show had been told over and over since the first read through. 

All joking aside, and despite the fact he wanted to know the answer to Taggart’s question, Jason needed to get down to business. 

“Whatever asshole, just listen. I know this might sound a bit crazy but I just have a gut feeling this is all wrong. I don’t think there is a bomb here. I think we are looking in the wrong place, it’s too obvious. We know there is nothing in the building right now, or around its perimeter. None of the people working here are carrying anything either. I know that doesn’t rule out audience members which is why we have the right security in place, but something just doesn’t feel right.” 

Taggert immediately sobered at Jason’s words. If there was one thing he knew it was to trust Jason’s gut instincts. Doing just that had saved their lives more times then he wanted to count through the years. There wasn’t a single operative in the world that Taggert - or any other member of their private security firm - trusted more than Jason. 

“You know damn well I never doubt your gut instinct. What do you think we should do?”
Just as Taggert finished that thought, Jason’s phone rang. 

Jason flipped it open after checking the id, “All clear, go ahead.” 

Taggert watched as Jason’s listened to the caller and his posture took on that edge of action. They would be moving out, and they would be doing it in mere minutes. 

“Shit, that’s exactly what I was afraid of,” Jason was clearly receiving disturbing information; he did a quick watch check. “Okay, we’ll be out of here in 10 minutes and on the next flight.” 

Jason closed his phone and turned to Taggert. “Let the producers know their show is in the clear. The office just got a call from the FBI, the extremists sent them a video message. They’ve kidnapped 4 dignitaries and thanked us for our gullibility. While we wasted all our effort here, they were half way around the world executing their real plan.”

“Son of bitch,” Taggert began to ready himself. 

It was that moment that Elizabeth arrived at her dressing room door and took in the clipped precision of the men’s movements. 

Jason and Taggert were keenly aware of her arrival but continued their actions. Taggert was flipping his previous multicolored vest inside out only to reveal its actual function. His multipurpose vest looked remarkably military like and the pockets held items Elizabeth couldn’t even identify, other than knowing they weren’t for hair and makeup and were clearly of a deadly nature. Marcus’ mannerisms were also markedly different. 

Jason was taking the clip out of his gun and looking at her as if she was a problem he wasn’t sure how to handle. It took Elizabeth about 2 seconds before she got a clear picture of what was happening. The only confusing part was that the men were disarming themselves like they were packing up shop.

Marcus was the first to break the strained silence and he at least had the wherewithal to use his regular voice, “I am sorry for any deception Ms. Webber, but it was necessary.” Jason and Marcus were clearly poised to leave immediately, there was an urgency hanging thick in the air, “You should be a hundred percent safe at this point. “
Elizabeth nodded at the clear purpose and conviction in Marcus’ tone and both his and Jason’s stance. Then she remembered she was angry. 

“So do I get to know anything? I have been lied to for weeks apparently,” she gave Taggert a look of contempt, “and lived on edge for days thinking they may be my last. All to help you uncover a threat that you are now saying is miraculously gone?” 

It was crystal clear to Elizabeth that it was Jason in charge so she stepped within inches of his face before finishing, “What the hell is going on and how the hell do I know that my friends are safe? You both are clearly liars, so how do I know what you are saying is true?”
While Jason felt slightly bad that he couldn’t stand around and explain things, he also knew that wasn’t his job. Priority one was always the job. 

He gave an upward nod to Taggert in a silent message to take off and let the producers know their show was safe, they’d meet up later. Taggert immediately complied and quickly but silently exited the room, only pausing briefly to touch Elizabeth’s shoulder in an attempt to reassure her. He tossed Jason his vest and then Marcus was gone. 

Jason looked back at her with his piercing blue eyes that gave nothing away. “You don’t ma’am. All I can do is swear to you that you and your friends are safe, this bomb threat was all a decoy.” 

The two were only inches away from each other; their breaths both shallow and rapid. The unspoken question of trust permeated the silence. In the distance the clear sounds of normalcy backstage continued on despite the highly abnormal situation. In a few short seconds Jason and any of his team that had been here would disappear, and it was clear that Elizabeth could say nothing. She had to pretend none of this happened and once again the proverbial show must go on. 

“Fine, I will trust you. That is not something I do easily Mr. Moorehouse, so don’t make me regret that.”

Something about Elizabeth made Jason want to show her that her trust was warranted. It was an odd and wholly disconcerting feeling, he never cared what others thought but something made him say it. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled it before saying the words he hadn’t said to anyone outside his inner circle in years. 

“It’s Morgan, Elizabeth, my name is Jason Morgan.” 

Elizabeth knew in that moment that he had taken a huge risk in telling her something he rarely told others. It was a show of good faith, he trusted her. He deserved the same in return. “Thanks for telling me that. I think you know I won’t tell anyone that information.”
He nodded knowingly. 

She smiled slightly before continuing, “Now get out of here and go do whatever it is you really do. Tell Marcus - or whatever his name is - when you all get back from wherever you are going, he owes me big time.”

Jason’s only response was a quick nod before taking one last soul searching look into Elizabeth’s eyes. It looked like he was about to say something but then in what seemed like a blink, he rushed by her and out her door. All Elizabeth felt was the tiniest hint of a breeze gloss over her skin in his wake. It left a trail of goose bumps. 

The bomb threat was gone, she should be happy her life would be back to normal. Yet, something told her life was never going to be the same again.  

2010 Winners

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