Eki 09

New Horizons Ch. 14-18

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Chapter 14

If there was one thing Alex would never tire of, it was the energy spilling into every facet of the theater on an opening night.

Nights like these made her forget that so many of her days in the office blended together into the mundane.

The week before opening night was always a nightmare with fire drill after fire drill. There was always some kind of disaster she had to deal with. Like last minute program changes because a silent “e” was left off an actor’s name, or somehow someone managed to erase half the lighting cues during tech. But by opening night, most of those details had been ironed out.

Even the press had already been dealt with for the most part. There would be a handful of photographers at the opening night party, but this show was celeb-less so there wouldn’t be many.

The reviewers came to the show during the preview performances, so Alex didn’t even need to worry about them.

Now, an hour from curtain, everything was set and she had just gotten back to the theater after going home to change. She held a large bouquet of flowers in one hand as she knocked on the door to one of the dressing room’s backstage.

Courtney answered the door, with a wide smile on her face, wearing nothing but a simple nude camisole, her hair already done up in pin curls for the wig that would cover them.

“My Princess Charming, at last,” she said as she gleefully grabbed the flowers. “But no quickies before a show,” she added as she pointed a warning finger at Alex.

She moved back into her dressing room and Alex followed, rolling her eyes and kicking the door shut with her foot at the same time.

“That’s such a lie. Don’t forget we have shared more than one dressing room with each other and I have walked in on more than my fair share of you in pre-show quickie mode.”

Alex leaned against the counter across from the one Courtney was occupying. Since the cast for this show was so small, Courtney had this dressing room to herself, but it was made for more than one actor so there was a lot of extra counter space and mirrors.

Courtney sat down at the mirror and pulled out her overflowing make-up kit as she looked over at Alex.

“Is that an offer?”

“No. I just came to say, break a leg. Not, fancy a fuck. Sorry, babe.”

Courtney paused her eyeliner application to give Alex a discerning look through the mirror.

“Too bad, because you’re looking like sex on a stick tonight.”

Alex suddenly looked down and smoothed out her shirt. When she looked back up, Courtney was still looking at her, but now her eyebrow was raised slightly.

“And I assume this look isn’t for me. How is our little model doing?”

Alex knew there was no point lying to Courtney and she didn’t really want to. Her entire body had been vibrating since her pizza date with Quinn and she was anxious with anticipation of seeing the woman again in almost an hour.

They hadn’t texted since their moment by the stage door, which was fine with Alex. At this point she felt like she might say something she’ll regret.

Quinn had a way of making her feel more vulnerable than she was used to and her desire to hear those soft moans come out of the woman’s mouth almost paralyzed her from being any kind of productive human being.

“We kissed,” she muttered. “Twice.”

Courtney spun around on the stool she was sitting on and slapped her hands down on her knees.

“You kissed? Girl. You need to tell me that before I start on my eyeliner,” she said as she waved her hand back to her forgotten make-up kit.

“You get ready. We’ll talk about it later.”

Alex walked over to Courtney and turned her stool around so she was facing the mirror again. She bent down so she was face to face with her friend, staring back at their joined reflection.

“Watching you perform is one of my favorite things. Break a leg, babe.”

Courtney smiled at her friend through the mirror as she picked up her eyeliner again.

“Thanks for the flowers, Blanche. You never forget.”

Alex gave one last quick nod and left the dressing room area so she could head out to the front of the theater. She was expected to greet major donors and stakeholders since her father wouldn’t be there in person.

She could picture him now sitting in his office with his bottle of scotch in front of him, waiting for the opening curtain to take his first sip. It was a silly ritual that he did for each show, but Alex preferred not having to deal with him anyway.

Alex was schmoozing with a board member she could actually tolerate when she saw Quinn sweep into the lobby of the theater. She had to force herself not to audibly gasp at the sight.

The brunette was wearing a silver dress that tightened around her middle and flowed out towards the bottom. Up the side of the dress was a slit that came to her thigh and showed off her shapely legs and smooth skin. Her feet were in black strappy heels that complimented the lines of her legs. She reminded Alex escort atakoy of a Russian figure skater, all long legs, pale skin and striking features.

As warm as Alex felt at that first sight of Quinn, that was how fast her blood ran cold when she spotted the person coming in to stand next to the brunette. Spencer, the woman she last saw ogling Quinn at The Library, was lightly grabbing the corner of Quinn’s elbow and laughing about something in her ear.

Quinn laughed back at whatever Spencer had said. Alex was vaguely aware of the board member still talking as she bore her gaze down on the unsuspecting actresses. Excusing herself with as much elegance as she could, she quickly moved over to the two women.

Quinn saw Alex approaching before Spencer did and Alex felt a rush of satisfaction, and maybe arousal too, at the way Quinn’s eyes raked over her body like Alex was a glass of water she desperately needed.

Alex silently applauded her choice of outfit for tonight. When Quinn reacted so strongly to the suspenders look, Alex decided to forgo the dress she had picked out for tonight in lieu of a custom-made tux.

“Good evening ladies,” Alex said as she leaned in towards Spencer to give her a quick kiss on the cheek.

As she leaned into Quinn, she reminded herself she couldn’t just rip the dress off of her right there so to keep the kiss G-rated and firmly on the cheek.

Somehow her lips seemed to hit the side of Quinn’s mouth despite what she had just told herself. Quinn gently squeezed her arm as she leaned back from the peck and Alex gave her a small smile.

“Hey, Alex. You look amazing,” Quinn said as her eyes roamed the blonde’s body again—apparently Quinn’s inner voice was not telling her to be as subtle as Alex’s was.

Spencer, the ever the clueless Casanova, didn’t seem to notice the tension between the other two women and blurted out, “I was just telling Quinn here that her dress is gorgeous. She’s stunning.”

Spencer put her hand on Quinn’s upper arm when she said it and Alex could see Quinn visibly stiffen.

“She certainly is,” Alex said, not even bothering to look at Spencer when she said it.

“If you’ll excuse us, Spencer, I have a few donors I’d like to introduce Quinn to.”

Without even waiting for a response from the other woman, Alex took Quinn’s hand in hers and guided her away to the other side of the lobby where the bar sat. Quinn squeezed her hand as they walked away and seemed more than eager to follow.

The bar area was busy and there wasn’t much space at the counter. Alex used the opportunity to pull Quinn into her so they were closer than they would normally be standing somewhere in public.

“Let me guess, you don’t like people touching your things,” she heard Quinn say low in her ear so only she could hear.

The low vibration and closeness of Quinn’s mouth sent a shiver down her spine. Alex turned her head slightly so she could look into Quinn’s eyes, which held a hint of amusement. She looked down at the lips that just a day ago were wrapped around her own before responding.

“You’re not my plaything, Quinn,” she said seriously.

She then looked away so she could make eye contact with the bartender. He stopped what he was doing and approached immediately, knowing just who Alex was.

“But in general, no I don’t,” she added as she accepted the two flutes the bartender handed over.

Once they had their drinks, Alex motioned for them to move over to the side of the lobby that had fewer people. Alex should have been talking to the donors, directors, and influencers of the crowd, but she found herself drawn to the beautiful woman in silver.

“You really do look beautiful,” Alex said quietly to Quinn as they stood in their private corner.

Quinn looked at her and smiled slowly, “Thank you, Alex.” She looked over the crowd and took a sip of her drink before she added in a whisper, “it was for you.”

They were both quiet for a moment before Quinn turned to her again. “You’ll have to point Janet out to me before we head to dinner. I have no idea what she looks like.”

Alex’s brow furrowed at the mention of “we” and “dinner” and “Janet”. Quinn seemed to notice her confusion, which caused her own brow to furrow.

“She invited me to dinner at her table tonight…I thought you knew,” she said.

Alex’s brow smoothed out as understanding crossed her features. “Oh. No. I didn’t know she invited you. She doesn’t usually invite the artists to her opening night table.”

Quinn continued to look confused. “But I’ll be happy to have you there. These things get really boring sometimes,” Alex said as she smiled sincerely at the brunette.

“Is it weird? That she invited me?”

Alex had never seen Quinn look so self-conscious, but she also knew Mikey usually handled the business side of things for her. And the truth was she didn’t remember Janet ever inviting an actor to the table but the publicist was also a social butterfly and often gravitated towards fame.

Quinn may escort bahcesehir not be famous, but Alex could see her appeal to someone like Janet who made her living on rising the social ladder. Not that she had to try hard with her kind of family money.

“Janet likes to make new connections, so not that weird,” Alex replied as the lights in the lobby started flashing. “Meet me here after the show and we’ll head to the restaurant together.”

“Always bossing me around,” Quinn said as she smiled back.

Alex leaned in so her mouth was close to Quinn’s ear and put her hand on the woman’s lower back.

“You haven’t seen anything yet, Nemo.”

She flashed her a mischievous smile and then turned into the crowd of people making their way to the theater doors. She didn’t look back but could feel Quinn’s lingering gaze on her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ever since her first field trip to see a community theater production of Anything Goes when she was in high school, Quinn had loved the theater. But this show was really making her question that.

By the final curtain, she thought she deserved an award for Most Likely to Fall Asleep Yet Didn’t. She was disappointed she hadn’t gotten to see Alex at intermission, but the blonde had told her she was going to the office to make sure everything was set for the party later.

Mainly she wanted to see her so she could feast her eyes on Alex in that tuxedo again. If she had thought the suspenders the other day might kill her, she couldn’t imagine what her pulse felt like when she saw Alex walking towards her in the lobby earlier.

Alex’s outfit choice gave her the perfect distracting fantasies during the boring production she just had to witness. It wasn’t that the performers weren’t amazing, they were, all of them. But the source material was beyond dry. Quinn couldn’t help but worry that if this was the kind of show Horizon was used to producing, her show was going to be a very different detour from that.

As she came up to the spot she had agreed to meet Alex, she could see the other woman standing there already, scrolling through her phone.

If it hadn’t been for the phone in her hand, Quinn thought Alex looked like an early nineteenth century aristocrat with her regal stance, hand on her hip, and looking like she owned the entire theater and maybe every theater in New York City.

There was something so feminine about the delicate features of Alex’s face and the way her nose was lightly sprinkled with freckles that Quinn could only see if she was close enough.

Her long blonde hair was pulled back into a low side bun tonight, which just helped to showcase smooth skin, shining blue eyes, and a full, entirely too kissable mouth.

Standing there in her tuxedo with an air of such seriousness, confidence and power, she looked untouchable. Quinn couldn’t stop herself from thinking that Alex looked like a really hot, more feminine, Mr. Darcy.

As if Alex could hear Quinn’s salacious thoughts, she looked up from her phone and gave the brunette the smile that seemed reserved just for her. She didn’t make Quinn walk up to her, striding to the brunette with determined steps and a wolfish smile.

“Hello again. Ready? We should get there soon so we can head to the party.”

Alex put out her elbow for Quinn to grab, which she did, feeling like she had the sexiest date to a post-opening dinner that may have ever existed in the world of theater.

Chapter 15

“Tell me more about Janet,” Quinn said as they crossed the street to the theater.

She didn’t miss the way Alex pulled her closer to her body the moment they were alone on the street.

“I feel like her name keeps coming up and now she’s invited me to dinner, and I don’t even know who she is.”

Alex gave a low chuckle— the one that made Quinn’s knees feel a little less stable than they should.

“Janet was my mom’s best friend. So I’ve known her, for well, for forever I guess. She’s owns the PR agency that we use for all Horizon shows.”

Quinn scrunched her nose up at that, which made Alex smile before she continued.

“I know, a publicist, right? I feel the same way in general. But Janet is alright. She was always there for my mom and she seems to have a distaste for my dad. Basically, her husband died when she was in her early 20s and she never remarried. He had a bit of a fortune that he left to her and she calls it her ‘play money’. She’s a big patron of the arts and one of our main donors. Every opening I ever go to, Janet is usually there.”

“I didn’t see your father tonight,” Quinn said. “I thought he’d be there.”

“I haven’t known him to ever sit through an opening night. He says its bad luck, the worst luck. He’s pretty serious about it. He sits in his office and starts drinking once the opening curtain rises.”

“He’s had to have seen an opening before though right? What about when you were in shows?”

Alex slowed their walking since they had arrived escort gungoren at the restaurant. It was a small Italian place that was conveniently right next to the restaurant that would host the post-opening party. She turned to Quinn so she could answer her before they were in the restaurant.

“He’s never seen me perform.”

Quinn knew firsthand that pity was the worst emotion to show someone who’s been through something taxing. But in that moment, all she could do was stop her mouth from hanging open. Her wide eyes had a mind of their own though and she knew she couldn’t hide the shock from showing.

A father who had never even saw his daughter in a show? Quinn’s parents may not be perfect, but they were always in attendance when she performed growing up. She couldn’t fathom a father who’s in the arts, just ignoring the talent and passion of his only daughter.

“Alex, what? He’s never seen you perform? But how is that possible?”

Before Alex could answer, Quinn heard a high-pitched squeal come from across the street. A woman who looked like she was in her 60s was striding across the street towards them, the numerous bracelets on her arm and neck, making almost as much noise as she was.

Quinn couldn’t tell what was dress, what was shawl, and what was some other weird fabric contributing to her outfit.

“Darlings! I’m so glad you’re here. Now, I know that was a bore, but no long faces at my dinner,” the woman finished as she finally came within feet of them.

“Janet, always a pleasure,” Alex said as she leaned into kiss Janet on both cheeks.

Quinn noticed Alex already seemed more at ease with this woman than she’d seen her act with anyone other than Courtney.

Janet made a show of dramatically pushing Alex aside so she could turn her attention on Quinn.

“And here she is. Our beautiful fashion victim. The one who’s going to steal all our hearts soon. Hello, Quinn. You look positively stunning.”

This time Janet leaned into Quinn, kissing both her cheeks, and then held the woman’s arms so she could make a show of getting a closer look.

“And you are stunning,” she added before she looked over to Alex with a small smile.

“Thank you, Janet. I’ve heard many things about you, but I’m going to make you guess whether or not they were good,” Quinn laughed back easily.

“Cheeky, cheeky,” Janet replied. “Let’s eat, shall we? That play made me hungrier than an orphan.”

With that she left them in a wake of her overpriced perfume and walked into the restaurant to no doubt claim her reservation.

Alex smiled at Quinn when the brunette rose her eyebrows.

“Yep,” Alex said. “That’s Janet.”

She motioned for Quinn to enter the restaurant in front of her, and Quinn suddenly felt very naked not having Mikey there to buffer for her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dinner was more fun and more casual than Quinn expected it to be based on her first impression of Janet. It could also be that she was sitting next to Alex and their thighs were now firmly up against each other’s, sending bolts of warmth straight down south.

She was thrilled to know Alex wanted to maintain as much physical contact as she did tonight. If Janet hadn’t been watching the two of them like a hawk all night, she may have even tried to hold Alex’s hand under the table.

It was nice to see Alex relax more than she ever seemed to in the theater and she and Janet had an easy rapport with each other that can only come with years of history.

She was slightly surprised by how few people there were at the dinner. She had expected a long table with board members and influential theater patrons, but this was far more intimate than that.

At the table sat Janet, Quinn, Alex, and a board member she was introduced to as Tim Delvin. She recognized him since he was the person talking to Alex when she arrived at the theater earlier.

Alex introduced them when they got to the table and described Tim as her “favorite” board member. But Quinn didn’t know Alex well enough to know if that was a tactic of schmoozing with big wigs or if it was actually how the woman felt.

It didn’t take long for Quinn to realize Alex must have been sincere. Tim was funny, charming, passionate about theater and while not a good friend of Alex’s, it was obvious he was someone she respected a lot.

Janet on the other hand was everything Quinn pictured when she thought of a loud, brash New York publicist. She made every question into a production and even the most mundane statement came out as if she was telling you the biggest secret in the world.

She peppered Quinn with question after question as if the actress was the most interesting thing she had met in years. Quinn supposed that was a special talent of Janet’s. After a while of that though, Quinn was completely sick of talking about herself so she attempted to steer the conversation.

“Alex tells me you’re a long-time family friend. Are you from New York?”

“God no. I’m from a very small town in Ohio you’ve never heard of. I met Alex’s mom Peggy when I moved to the city for an internship. Back in the ancient times when the printed press was invented,” she laughed with an easy air of someone who didn’t actually believe she was that old.

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