Only In His Arms
Neeley Alexander walked confidently down the street looking at Time Square. It was a dream to be in New York, and to be there to do a Broadway show. She smiled to herself. She had finally made it...she was a actress and things were looking up in her career. She clutched the shopping bags in her hands feeling like a star. Her pass was behind her now, there was only the future to look forward to. At that precise moment she felt like "That Girl" her favorite television show of long ago with Marlo Thomas. She too was a young actress trying to make it in the "Big Apple". If she'd had a hat she would have threw it into the air and shouted "New York here I am." The agency had gotten her a fairly nice apartment and it was in walking distance to the studio where the play was being rehearsed. It had a small kitchenette, a bath and one bedroom with two small beds. The only drawback was having to share it with Dorie Cummings, a another struggling actress like herself. Dorie also was in the new play "Those Tyler Girls" , but there was no competition since she was cast as her younger sister. She smiled as she climbed the steps leading to her apartment, it was like walking on air. She barely felt her feet touch the steps. She had been through a lot but here she was, leaving everything else behind her, especially Chance Montgomery. How foolish she had been to accept an arranged marriage just to save his job, and even more foolish to fall in love with him. To him she was nothing more then his best friend from his college days, little NeeNee. She still hated that name, it was so childlike. She wasn't a child, she was a grown woman, and not to bad looking if she had to say so herself! ..... No, this was her time, and she was on cloud nine and "Life was so cool !
Neeley is on top of the world, forgetting all that's she was, a negative person, always thinking good things happened to others and not her.....she's got the world on a string and she's sitting on a rainbow, and she's got that the string around her finger, what a world...life was so cool, at lease for now!
Click video and see how she is feeling about leaving the negativity about life behind her and feeling so cool about her life
Neeley couldn't believe her eyes as she stood in line on the huge stage, with the rest of the cast. All ears were open to the whisper of the new director who was to appear momentarily to replace the one who was ill with heart trouble. All eyes looked at the figure walking down the isle towards the stage. He was the most fantastic looking man she's ever seen. Tall, dark and handsome with a body of a Greek God, and muscles to boot ! Why couldn't she have fallen in love with someone like that she thought as he got closer.. He was dressed in cut off jeans,with a blue silk shirt and loafers, a combination she had never seen any director wear before. His hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail. "Definitely my type," she said under her breath, and probably taken. His type usually was. She sighed deeply then straightened her shoulders as he stopped at the edge of the stage. He just stood looking at all of them. Why was she torturing herself with something she couldn't have. She shook her head, then looked away again. Chance was all she got.
"Are you unhappy with the chance this play will give you? "
The director was looking directly at her. Then he beckoned for her to step forward.
"Oh , no...I was just thinking out loud., she said stunned, as all eyes were off of him and on her now. She felt embarrassed as well as nervous. She felt like his eyes were looking into her very soul...a feeling she wasn't accustom to at all!
"Then please share your thoughts with us ."
She could feel the sweat on her palms as she stepped to the stage edge. "I was just thinking what a wonderful chance we all been given to be here in New York and in this wonderful musical .
" He walked closer until their eyes could look directly into the other. "And you are who?"
"Neeley Alexander sir , I'll be playing the part of Jackie Tyler."
He studied her then waved his hand in a backward motion which she knew meant for her to step back in line with the rest of the cast.
She felt humiliated. She wasn't his servant that he could dismiss with a wave. He was arrogant...but she still like what she saw in spite of it . He waved a finger to the pianist who sat down at the piano .
He started to play a song...her song. The song wasn't suppose to be sung until towards the end of the play when she was thinking of how to hide her true feelings from her family about her broken engagement to Howard the man she loved. But obviously he wanted her to sing it now !
He sat down in one of the theater seats, legs crossed....eyes intently on her
"If I'm correct Jackie Tyler sings this song. He looked at Neeley. And you are playing her right?" "
Yes...yes I am, Neely said walking slowly to the center of the stage." "Well then you should be singing right?"
He then closed his eyes and lowered his head in wait. Neeley knew sometimes when she rehearsed "What Will I Tell My Heart" Chance would fill her thoughts, and she would cry. It brought back memories of their college days together, the fun, and the love that grew inside her that was still very much alive. And it also brought back the hurt too! She just couldn't cry, not now, she might lose the part. The pianist started to play...and she started to sing.
Lets listen as Vanessa Williams sings the same song Neely is singing.now....a song that speaks of her love for Chance Montgomery to the director of the play "What Will I Tell My Heart" Will she be able to keep her emotions in check as she sings? Time will tell!!
Listen as Vanessa Williams sings the same song Neeley is singing to the director...will she be able to keep her emotions in check? Time will tell!!
Jean Claude Badau !
Neeley wasn't sure if he liked her performance or not. He was still sitting with his head down, and his eyes closed.
" I know who he is, said Dorie in an excited whisper....he's called the "Closer"
Neeley looked quickly at her roommate.
Dorrie nestled closer to her.
"They call him that because he never directs a play without sleeping with the main actress...and I think that's going to be you if he sticks to his schedule."
Neeley looked at him sitting there, then suddenly he stood up, removed his silk shirt and sat back down totally bare chested to everyone's amazement. All the cast, especially the ladies were in awe of him, and she knew it was exactly what he wanted !
"How do you know so much," she whispered back, not wanting to be called out again by him for talking.
"I may come from the backwoods, but we do read Neeley, she said smugly with a smile. That's Jean Claude Badau...he's the "shirtless director", it's all over the theater news, as well as his reputation with his leading stars..sleeps with every one or they don't make it on Broadway!"
Neeley looked again at him, still sitting there silently.
"Comes from money, they say. She looked at Neeley. Yea he's a real ladies man Neeley, so watch yourself okay. He's a big bad wolf, and right now he looking at you as if you're "Little red Riding Hood."
Neeley looked again and looked right into his eyes. She didn't like the feeling she got. Dorie was right...that was exactly the way he was looking at her, like she was his next meal !
Neeley wants to make it as an actress but will it call for more than she's willing to give? Listen to this song as she looks at her new director in quite a different way than before !
"Well that was an okay performance, he said finally looking at Neeley. But we'll run through it again before the opening night." Neeley looked at Dorrie. In her heart she knew it was a better than okay performance, and so did Dorrie and the rest of the cast.
"Now, lets run through that scene where you and your lover Howard are saying your final farewell." Neeley knew the part he was referring to. It was where she and Jessie, who was playing Howard Capwell her love interest, met for the final time and shared their final kiss. As she watched the scenery being placed, which for now was just a small bed where she and Howard would lay together talking and wishing they could be together despite there family's objections to their love for each other. Howard was a poor working class boy while she was wealthy. Jesse was a good actor and not a bad kisser either, so she really didn't mind kissing him at all since his girlfriend was also in the play and she had gotten to know her earlier.
"No need for you to rehearse the scene, the director said suddenly. I'll run through it with her. There's some things I want to show you about how it should be done."
Jesse stepped back to both his surprise and hers as the director walked up the steps and onto the stage. Neeley could believe her eyes, and from the way Dorrie, Jesse, and the rest of the cast looked they were equally as stunned as she was.
"Well , he said looking at her. You do know your lines don't you...lets see some action!"
"Of course I know them," she replied, her voice slightly raised feeling a wave of anger sweep over her as walked closer to him. She thought everything was going well , until he pulled her down on the bed and kissed her so hard that she couldn't get her breath, and then he did the most awful thing...he bit her lower lip causing her to scream out loud. None of this was in the script, and she knew he knew it. Everyone knew it, as gasps could be heard all over the theater. She fought her way free, but not before he pinched her on the butt.
"We'll rehearse this again tomorrow," he said, giving her a smile, and a wink as he walked down the stage steps,and out the theater whistling happily to himself !
Neeley knew her dreams were being tested as well as she was. If she wanted to keep the part she knew what he expected her to do for it, and everyone was wondering if she would stick to her guns and her integrity. As she watches him walk away she remembers a song from a college musical she stared in her last year at Lewis University " The Cowboy" Toby Keith's song fit then...and it fit now with what had just happened to her. The director wanted to get right down to the main attraction(her) and he wanted a little less talk, and a lot more action !
It all was such a nightmare. Both she and Dorrie were silent as they walked from the theater.
"So what are you going to do now," Dorrie said finally breaking the silence between them.
"I'm not sure, Neeley answered looking at her friend. But one thing I' m sure of is that I'm not sleeping with him. I didn't sleep with my own husband, so I'm surly not going to sleep with him...he's a total stranger, and a brute." She rubbed her lip with her finger. It was now swollen and red.
Dorrie sighed deeply. "And he was such a dream to look at. Just like that guy sitting on the steps of our brownstone."
Neely had been so caught up in her own thoughts that she didn't even see the man. She blinked hard...then blinked again. It looked like Chance, but how could it be....she had left him in Illinois a year ago when they split. She stopped dead in her tracks, which made Dorrie stop too when she realized that she was talking to herself.
"What's the matter," Dorrie questioned, looking strangely at her.
"Remember I told you about the guy I married to help him move up in the law firm?"
"Oh, yea...the one you left back in Illinois somewhere."
Neeley turned, facing her friend. "Well he's not in Illinois anymore." She nodded towards the man who was now standing up waiting for them as they approached. Dorrie took another hard look.
"Neeley, he's gorgeous." Dorrie lowered her glasses , then giggled...really gorgeous. She sighed again. "I should have such luck."
Neeley knew there was no way she could avoid him now, not when he was standing directly in front of them.
She felt a wave of hurt and anger come over her, as she looked into his eyes. It was all coming back to her now. The hurt, and the hope of ever being more to him than just a friend. She suddenly pushed by him, and bolted up the stairs slamming the door as hard as she could behind her, leaving Dorrie and him outside. !
Neeley is remembering how it felt to walk away from the man she loved who only saw her as his best friend. She remembering how it felt to look over her shoulder one last time at where they had lived as man and wife. and also remembering the lost of not only her true love, but also her best friend. It was hard to go and start a new life, but she had done it. Now everything that she thought she had put behind her, she now sees is still as real as ever for her. Lets listen to a song that voices her feelings as she stood there looking at Chance, the man she still loves !
To be continued on Sunday!
Click Video to play !
The Divorce !
Neeley heard the door open and close behind her as she stood fumming at the thought of Chance being in New York, and now in her apartment.
"Neeley , why don't I go and fix some coffee while you two talk." " Neelknew that it was just an excues to leave her and Chance alone.. As Dorrie passed her she motioned to her that Chance was standing behind he.
"I didn't expect you to react like this, he said softly. I guess I really did a job on you."
"Yes you did, she said in a angry tone as she turned to look at him. He was dressed in a expensive brown suit, Italian brown leather shoes, with a silk white shirt, and he had a beard. It was strange that she never noticed it outside. It was shaved close to his face, and trimmed to perfection. He was still as perfect as she remembered him to be,.and still in shape, so she assumed he still hit the gym every morning, and probably was still eating vegetarian food .
" So, what do you want Chance, we're divorced now remember?"
His big brown eyes looked into hers as he walked closer.
"Yea, about that."
Neeley looked strangely at him."
"What about it?"
"Your eyes still get bigger when you're mad...I miss that about you Neeley, he said reaching over to touch her arm but she pulled away quickly.
"Never quite happened . He backed away quickly. I never got around to filing the papers.....so we're still kind of married."
"You're the lawyer, she shouted, walking closer to him. You said you'd handle it all."
"I know, but .things got busy at the firm, I just forgot."
"Neeley could feel the anger rising inside her. First that director, now Chance...how much more could she take.
"I'm sorry, he said sitting down next to her. You can hit me if you want."
Neeley looked up into his eyes, the eyes that always drew her in, when he needed her to do something for him, like when he asked her to marry him to help him advance in the law firm.
"Why now," she said, lowering her head into her knees as the tears started to flow.
Suddenly his arms were around her and her head was on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry, he repeated as he pulled her close to him. Just thought you should know in case you were involved with someone....are you?"
He looked over at her.
"No, there's no one, she said between sniffles. Where would I find the time. Between temporary acting gigs, and trying to make ends meet, all I can do is work and sleep."
"Oh, that's good."
"What," she looked at him in surprise.
"I just meant I wouldn't want you to be a bigamist, if you were involved with someone and wanted to marry ."
She dabbed her eyes with the handkerchief he gave her..
"Oh, ...I see what you mean. And what are you doing in New York anyway, isn't your firm still based in Chicago?"
He smiled . That's another thing I wanted to tell you"
She could see the happiness on his face, so she knew it must have something to do with his job.
" They opened a branch here in the city, I was chosen to head the office here. They set me up with a apartment in Manhattan ,and I have a company car too at my disposal.
Neeley was not surprised. She knew he would make it big in the firm, she didn't expect it to happen so quickly. It had only been a year.
"That's really great news Chance...really great news." She moved away, got up and walked to the window and looked out.
"Well here's that coffee I promised you."
Dorrie was sitting the tray on the center table when Neeley look back.
"I really won't have time for coffee after all."
!Neeley saw him glance down at his watch.
"I have a client coming in an hour, gotta get back. He reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a card . Here's my work address, and my apartment address too if you need me." He walked over to handed it to her, but she turned away from him.
From the corner of her eye she saw him lay the card on the coffee table, then headed towards the door.
"And don't forget to take care of the divorce, she said loudly to make sure he heard her before he left.
"Yes, the divorce..............right," and then he closed the door behind him and was gone.
Neeley watched him as he exited the building and got into his fancy car. She thought she heard a bit of sadness in his voice when he repeated the word "Divorce", but for the life of her she couldn't understand why!
Click Video below to share Neeleys thoughts about Chance.
To Be Continued on Tuesday !
As Neeley watches Chance leave her apartment so many memories flood her mind. The time when they first met at the university, the study sessions, the walks, their talks about having careers after college, and then their marriage which was so real for her...yes she watching with tears in her eyes what she had hoped would be her future !