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The Heart of the Matter
Virtual Season Seven
The scene: David's office interior, late morning. The camera moves around the room, showing his suit coat draped over the back of the sofa, a tape recorder, camera equipment and binoculars on top of it. We swing around to the cluttered desk. Next to a carton of chocolate milk sits what looks like a week's worth of mail, some envelopes opened, their contents thrown carelessly about, a few still waiting to be read, all currently being ignored while David intently reads something by the light of his window. His clothes are wrinkled, and his shirt is unbuttoned halfway, revealing his undershirt. He rocks slowly back and forth, rubbing his beard stubble. His eyes never leave what he's reading even as Maddie walks through the door.
Maddie (cheerfully): Hey stranger. I remember you. Didn't you used to work here?
David: Must have been some other phenomenal looking guy `cause I don't work here, babe; I just crash on the couch. (He yawns.)
For awhile, the only sound in the room is David's chair squeaking as he continues to read then gaze out the window and rock slowly. Maddie sits down on the sofa and cranes her neck to try to see what has his interest other than she this morning.
Maddie: You're right. You can't be him. He wasn't quite this subdued as I recall.
David: He would be if he'd been on a stake out for two weeks. All night, every night. With no sleep and no female companionship. Only Herbert Viola to keep him warm. (He throws his reading material to the desk facedown and looks her in the eyes.) Two weeks alone in a car with Bert. Think about it, Maddie.
Maddie: I'd rather not.
David (perking up somewhat): Tell ya what. I need a new job with my old partner. Maybe I'll go back to school. Wanna be my lab buddy?
Maddie: Ah, there's that guy I know and love.
You don't have to tell me that this has been a tough couple of weeks for you, David. And with me concentrating on getting my house finished I know I haven't been around much either.
She walks around to the front of the desk and sits down on top of the sheet of paper. She looks down at him and smiles sinfully.
Maddie: So tell me, how can I make it up to you?
He grins and looks her up and down.
David: Get undressed.
She stands up quickly.
Maddie: Let me rephrase that…Can I make it up to you tonight?
David: You gave me an idea. Why wait until tonight?
Maddie: Well…What's going through your devious little mind, Addison?
David: I was just thinking-
Maddie: There you go again, up on that high wire without a net.
David: Very cute, Maddie. I was thinking…why not a little "afternoon delight"?
Maddie: Afternoon what?
David: Surely you've heard of the song if not the concept. You know…Love in the afternoon, a passion break, a nooner?
Maddie: Why David, you just sweep me off my feet. How can I possibly turn you down when put it so romantically?
David: Why not? We haven't seen each other all week. Haven't you missed me?
Maddie: Not that much. I can wait for a more opportune time… I can delay gratification, David. I am an adult.
David: Why does everything always turn into a debate about my maturity. Just because I want to be with you now doesn't mean I can't delay gratification. It just means…okay, maybe I don't want to delay it. Maybe I want to lay it- right here on the desk-
Maddie: David, honestly, it's the middle of the workday. I cannot go home with you.
David: Who says we have to go to "a home". There's always a hotel.
Maddie: David, I don't check into hotels in the middle of the day…
David: Lots of people sleep during the day…
Maddie: for an hour…
David: We could easily make it two…
Maddie: With no luggage…
David: Take your purse.
Maddie (shrugs and sighs): It's tawdry, David.
David: So what? Tawdry can be fun, Maddie.
Maddie: It's just not something I would ever do.
David (disdainfully): Of course not.
Maddie: What's that supposed to mean?
David: It means you never want to try anything new.
Maddie: That's not true. Every day with you brings something new to my life. Besides, I think you need some rest before you try anything strenuous. I wouldn't want to hurt you.
David: Oh baby. Hurt me, beat me, abuse me.
Maddie: EXCUSE me…but I can't go anywhere with you this afternoon. I need to meet Milo at my house.
David: What for?
Maddie: To give the place the final once over.
David (irritably): God, isn't he done working his magic yet?
Maddie: He's very close now. As long as I'm happy with all the work, I'm hoping today is the day.
David: So since this stupid case is finally closed and the palace is redecorated to the hilt, we can celebrate tonight, right?
Maddie: The case is closed? Don't tell me you finally got something?
David: You mean other than that rash on my-
Maddie: David! On the case…
David: Oh yeah. The case. Well, hopefully Mrs. Simmons will finally have all the evidence she requires for her divorce after last night's escapades. Remember she said her husband had a fetish about dressing up like the Lone Ranger?
David: Well, unless Bambi Hammond is sleeping with Clayton Moore…
Maddie: Nooo… he didn't…The mask and everything?
David: The costume would be nothing without the mask, Maddie. Hi ho Silver.
Maddie (distaste written all over her face): And you got pictures?
David (yawning and stretching): Pictures and audio. Which means after I write up the report, get a shave and a shower I'm all yours, beautiful. Say, what's your name again?
Maddie: Lucky me. So I guess this means dinner's on me tonight…
David: Hmm, I like the sound of that. Dinner on you…Something lickable I presume?
Maddie: I still find the depths of your smarm astounding.
David: Ah, you love it. At least you used to. I don't remember…it's been so long…
Maddie can't stand it any longer. Her hand now rests on the piece of paper he'd been staring at so intently a short while ago. She picks it from his desk but, of course, doesn't read it.
Maddie: What is this, David?
David: The event of the decade. Promises to be better than the Three Stooges Marathon on Nick at Night. Go ahead. Read away.
Maddie: Oh it's Richie's wedding invitation. This could be fun.
David: Not quite as fun as a stake out with Bert.
Maddie: A wedding in the Bahamas. Should be very lovely this time of year.
David: Yeah, steam rolling off tuxes, miles of limp orange taffeta and a honeymoon in the Bermuda Triangle.
Maddie: You're kidding, right?
David: No, the trip is my wedding present. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for bad weather.
Maddie (reading): As precious as the ocean's treasures; too strong for anyone to measure; two hearts, joined together, sharing their lives forever.
David: Yeah, it gave me a toothache. What a load of-
Maddie: Well, it's not the kind of invitation I would have chosen, but it's not my wedding. And I think it's cute how in love they are with each other.
David: It is cute, isn't it. They'll probably float down the aisle in matching tutus. And I'll be standing there trying not to puke on my shoes.
She glares at him briefly.
Maddie: Boy, you're in quite a snit this morning.
David: Maddie, we men do not have snits. Nor do with have tizzies or dithers. What we have are conflicts and hostilities that hopefully all end in a good bar fight or a war.
Maddie: All I know is that you better wipe that sullen look off your face before the wedding pictures. David, you act like you're being invited to a funeral instead of your only brother's wedding.
David: What's the difference? I happen to think marriage is the most overrated institution in America. Men only get married because A.) She's pregnant or B.) They think marriage is a ticket on the never-ending nooky train. What they don't get is that as soon as the missus realizes she's the conductor of the train, it pulls into the station. End of the line. No return ticket. Everybody off. Then he's left to wake up to that same face every morning…for the rest of his life.
Maddie stares at him, then shudders.
Maddie: Horrible! A fate worse than death.
David: Not for you, maybe. Or me. But we're not marrying Richie.
Maddie: Oh, come on, David. You don't really believe all that! People get married for lots of good reasons.
David: Name one.
Maddie: Love, of course.
David (batting his eyes at her): Love… I'm sorry. People who love each other should never do that to themselves.
Maddie: You know plenty of couples who love each other and have good marriages.
David: Name them.
Maddie: Well…um…well…God, I hate it when you put me on the spot.
David: Ha! Can't think of any huh. That's because when people get married, all the fun and games goes out the window and is replaced by the mortgage, the yard work, the kids, the savings bonds, the college fund-
Maddie: Walter and Terry! They love each other. They have a wonderful marriage.
David: But they haven't been at it long enough. Talk to `em in ten years then we'll see.
Maddie: I can't believe how cynical you are. Could you be jealous of your brother?
David: Me? Jealous of him? What the hell for?
Maddie: Because of how happy he is? Because of how proud of him your dad finally is? I don't know. But something's got your nose out of joint. Look, David. Amy and Richie may be walking around in a love-induced fog right now, but that's the way it's supposed to be when two people are getting married. They're supposed to act a little silly. After a few months they'll settle into a routine and reality will set in. And I, for one, think they'll be fine. I can't believe I'm saying this to you of all people, David, but you need to lighten up a bit and support your brother.
David: I'm just sick of everybody drooling over this stupid wedding. Why do we need to drop everything and fly down to the Bahamas, just to see them get married? He could send me a highlight film. I'd be perfectly happy with that.
Maddie: Are you telling me you don't want to fly me away for a romantic weekend in a tropical paradise?
While Maddie is talking he's yawning and rubbing his eyes.
David: You? Yes. But my romantic weekends in paradise usually don't include Richie. I'm staying home.
Maddie: You can't do that, David. You're his best man.
David: And that's another thing. Why does he give me a job like that when we live 3000 miles apart?
Maddie: Just a thought-maybe because he loves you?
David: Nah, he knows how I feel about all this crap. That's why he did it. Just to see me squirm.
Maddie (sighing and shaking her head): I really think you need to go home and go to bed.
David: Not without you Goldilocks. Let's unload the three bears, pack up the porridge and blow this dump.
Agnes knocks on the door and enters with a dreamy look on her face.
Agnes: Ms. Hayes, Mr. Addison? Your eleven o'clock is here.
Maddie: Oh, I completely forgot! Would you send him into my office, Agnes and I'll be right there?
Agnes peers back out the door, smiles and waves at someone off-camera.
David: Hey wait a minute. What's wrong with in here?
Maddie (staring at Agnes): What's wrong is your appearance and your attitude. I'll see him alone. You go home and get some sleep.
David: I don't need no stinkin' sleep. Send him in, Ms. Dipesto. Ms. Dipesto? Ms. Dipesto!
Agnes jumps, looks at Maddie who shrugs and acquiesces. A few moments later, Agnes shows an athletic, well-dressed, handsome Hispanic man into David's office. He is in his mid to late thirties and his excellent physique is evident beneath his navy blue suit. Maddie motions for him to have a seat on the sofa. As she does so, she notices Agnes is still standing there, staring at the client dreamily.
Maddie: Agnes? (hissing) Agnes!
Agnes jumps again.
Maddie: That will be all for now, Agnes.
Agnes: Oh… Okay… Would you like some coffee? I just made a hunk-I mean a pot.
Client: No, thank you.
She starts to leave then turns around again.
Agnes: How about some tea?
Client: No, really.
David gets out of his chair and takes Agnes by the arms in an attempt to unceremoniously kick her out the door.
David: Ms. Dipesto, if we want any beverages we'll let you know. We'll also let you know if we want breakfast, lunch or dinner. Right now we want to know why this man wants to hire us. If he's looking for a woman to have his baby we'll let you know that too.
Agnes: Okay. I'll be right outside.
She gives the client one last longing look as Bert's arm appears from behind the door to drag her out of the room.
Maddie: I'm sorry. I'm Maddie Hayes and this is my partner, David Addison. How may we help you, Mr…?
Client: Bellatonto, Miguel Bellatonto. You may help me Ms. Hayes by getting my wife to believe me.
Maddie: Forgive me, Mr. Bellatonto, but we are not marriage counselors.
David snickers. Under his breath, he says:
David: Anything but.
Maddie: If you and your wife are having marital problems…
Miguel: You don't understand. My wife hired a private investigator to follow me, to see if there was any evidence that I was having an affair. This man either fabricated or twisted everything around in my life to make it look like I was cheating! In reality, I assure you, I was not. Am not.
David: Well, what kind of evidence did this guy get?
Miguel: Pictures, letters, phone bills. All of them linking me to a young woman with whom I have only a business relationship.
Maddie: What kind of business are you in, Mr. Bellatonto?
Miguel: I'm a personal trainer, Ms. Hayes. I have extensive experience in exercise and physiology, and I own my own chain of health clubs. This being southern California of course I train many young, beautiful women. But I have affidavits from dozens of them who will attest that I never laid a hand on them except in my capacity as their trainer.
David (under his breath): Why couldn't I ever find a gig like this?
He glances over at Maddie who is giving him the evil eye. He clears his throat and continues.
David: But pictures don't lie, Mr.…
Miguel: Bellatonto. The pictures are all perfectly innocent!
David: Yeah heard that one before.
He hands David a stack of photos.
Miguel: Look. These pictures show me helping this woman on the equipment. They show us laughing in the parking lot. There is one in her car that looks rather compromising, but I remember that day. She had gotten a new car stereo and was simply showing me all the features.
Maddie: Did you try explaining that to your wife?
Miguel: Of course. And the phone bills as well. I have made calls to this woman but only to remind her of appointments.
Maddie: Won't this woman support your side of the story?
Miguel: That's part of the problem and the reason why I need an investigator. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find her for two weeks. Here's her picture. Her name is Lori Christopher (He hands David a picture of a very beautiful and very young woman.) Her last known address is on the back. She seems to be obsessed with me.
David: Come again?
Miguel: The letters appear to be in her handwriting. Read them. If she wrote them, she's most definitely attracted to me. But it is all one-sided. My wife, Carla is…well… a beautiful woman to me, although she doesn't seem to think so herself. She's very old fashioned and traditional. She's a few years older than I am and since our second child was born she's put on some weight, which makes her very self-conscious. But she's a loving mother and up until now, a perfect wife. She's always been so devoted to me, but this unscrupulous investigator has poisoned her mind. She's acting so strange, so aloof. It's frightening. Please, I love my wife and I don't want to lose her.
David: Uh huh. And if she's so loving and devoted, why did she hire a private investigator to go after you in the first place?
Miguel: When I take a woman and mold her into someone with a great body, it has a tremendous effect on her self-esteem. It also seems to effect some of them in other ways. Some fall in love with me, like some women fall in love with their psychiatrists or obstetricians.
David (under his breath again): Why couldn't I ever find a gig like this?
Miguel: Yes, Ms. Hayes. This has happened before and I believe my wife could handle that part of it. But this time she found letters that she thinks I wrote. She has a stack of them, which supposedly were extracted from my office computer, and I supposedly sent to this woman. Here they are.
He hands Maddie a thick manila envelop.
Miguel: I have a pretty casual work environment. My computer is in my office but my entire staff has access to it. So anyone could have sent those. That woman and I had a cordial, but strictly professional relationship. But now my wife thinks I reciprocate this woman's affections. Those letters are very damning, I'm afraid.
David (as he reads the stack of letters): Yep, pretty damn damning all right. You know, Mr…can I call you Miguel? We're pretty much up to our eyeballs right now. But I'd be happy to give you some other names and numbers-
Maddie: David, may I speak to you outside for a moment, please.
David (sighs): We'll be right back. Why don't you make yourself comfortable, do some bench presses on the couch.
Maddie and David take their respective places outside David's office door.
Maddie: David, what are you doing?
David: Yeah, I know. You are the one who's supposed to not want the case, but Maddie, I'm sick of these boring matrimonial cases. It's always the same thing. He wants her. She doesn't want him - for obvious reasons I'd say. Then we try to help and wind up in some bizarre chase scene that doesn't make any sense. Do me a favor. Tell the writers we need a good, juicy murder case…
Maddie: So you are going to turn down a perfectly good case and an opportunity to help this man because you're bored?
David: Whoa… You believe that load of guacamole Jack La Lane Jr. was spreading in there? Did you see the picture of that girl?
David: And did you see him?
David: And did you hear how he described the little woman? Traditional… old fashioned… overweight…she's obviously not doing a lot to lift his barbells…
Maddie: That's disgusting, David… Even if that's the case, it's apparent he wants to stay married to her.
David: You sure you didn't cut off a few IQ points with your new do? Been sniffing too many paint fumes at the old homestead?
Maddie: David, we are taking this case. You'll feel different about it once you get a little sleep. I'm not saying that we need to start today. Tomorrow morning is soon enough.
David: Gee, thanks Boss. I can't wait.
Maddie opens the door a crack and tells their new client:
Maddie: Mr. Bellatonto, we're taking your case. We'll talk to this private detective and attempt to find this woman. As soon as we find out anything, we'll let you know.
She closes the door. David leans up against it and yawns.
Maddie: Go home, David. Take the car, go home and get some sleep. I'll call you later to come and pick me up.
David (pulling her very close and whispering in her ear): To your place?
She glances out into the room and gently pushes him away.
Maddie (whispering and smiling secretly): Yes. And I do have something new I want to show you.
David: Promises, promises, Ms. Ha--
David's office door flies open and he falls inside against the client's hard chest.
David: Yes-- We'll get right on it, Mr…
Miguel: Miguel. Thank you both. I'll look forward to hearing from you.
The client strides confidently out of the office, all the women gazing after him.
The scene: Blue Moon's outer office, late in the day, around closing time. The staff are milling about, straightening desks, grabbing coats, getting ready to head for the door as soon as the clock strikes 5:00. Maddie walks in with Bert on her heels. Bert is talking her ear off as usual; Maddie is reading as she walks slowly toward her office.
Bert: Well, at least that handwriting expert had good news for us, Ms. Hayes. But if Lori Christopher didn't write them, who did? Some other woman must be attempting to break up the Bellatonto's marriage. But he's not cheating and he still loves his wife. Stranger things have happened.
Maddie: Well, according to Mr. Addison that is just too strange to be believed.
They walk by Agnes' desk where Agnes is talking to a woman.
Woman: No, I don't want to leave a message. I can't. He won't…I'd like to know when he'll be back so I can surprise him.
Agnes: Well, he's been on a big case for a few weeks. He went home to sleep it off, the case I mean. I'm not really sure when he'll be back.
Maddie turns around.
Maddie: Is there a problem, Ms. Dipesto?
Agnes: This lady wants to see Mr. Addison but she doesn't want to make an appointment.
Maddie: Well, maybe I could help. I'm Mr. Addison's partner.
Woman: Oh. I'm -
Woman: Why yes. Have we met?
Maddie: Yes. At your brother's- I'm Maddie Hayes.
Tess: Oh, of course! I'm sorry. I almost didn't recognize you. You looked different back then.
Maddie: Well, we only met that one time. Under those circumstances, I wouldn't expect-
Maddie cuts herself short when she notices the entire office staff staring at them.
Maddie: Ms. Dipesto, I'm taking Ms…
Maddie: Ms. O'Malley into my office.
Agnes: Okay, and if Mr. Addison calls, I'll let him know-
Tess and Maddie: No!
Agnes jumps, startled by their reactions. They look around the room at everyone still staring, then Maddie moves Tess towards her office.
Agnes: Okay, I won't tell him anything. You can tell him when you see him. If you see him. But if I see him first… (Maddie and Tess look back at her) mum's the word. The word is mum. Not even mum. That's one too many words. That's-
Maddie's office door slams. She shows Tess to a seat in front of her desk.
Maddie: Sorry about that. Well, now they're all out there speculating on who you are. Why don't you have a seat? So…Well…
Maddie: Are you in town for business or pleasure?
Tess: Business…a laundry commercial…You must think I'm awful just showing up like this, but I knew David wouldn't want to see me.
Maddie: Why do you want to see him?
Tess: I don't know. Closure, I guess. As you know, I had hoped to talk to him at Jimmy's funeral but that didn't happen. Then I found out that he went home to Philadelphia a few weeks back, and I thought I had missed another opportunity. I just never dreamed that David would go to that reunion.
Maddie: You must really want to see him.
Tess: It's just that when he left me…things were such a mess. We never really talked…Then when my agent got me a commercial out here I just thought…
Maddie: So you are still an actress.
Tess (surprised): Yes I am.
Maddie: David told me.
There is an uncomfortable silence for a moment while they think of what to say to each other next.
They both speak at the same time:
Tess: Sorry, you first.
Maddie: David doesn't know that you and I met. (Tess gives her a quizzical look.)
Maddie: He never talks about you, you know. I'm not…I don't want to hurt your feelings, but you must know how he is. You said it yourself. He's not really one to bare his soul.
Tess: Some things never change.
Maddie: Well, he has changed somewhat. He's…well, he's more…open…he's less…he's…
Tess: Still hard to describe, I see. I hope he's doing okay.
Maddie: Oh, he's fine. Still…David.
Tess: That's good…I don't remember you saying that you worked with David.
Maddie: No, I probably didn't mention it.
Uncomfortable silence again.
Maddie: I went to that reunion with him.
Tess: That was you?
Maddie: Yes. What do you mean, that was me?
Tess: Well, you know how the old hometown grapevine works. I heard from more than a few people that he might have finally met his match.
Maddie: Do you really think David Addison has a match?
The two women exchange knowing looks and smile at each other tensely.
Maddie: I hope…
Tess: No, It didn't hurt to hear that. David and I were just scared kids when we got married. It's all water under the bridge. I'm happy if he's happy.
Maddie: He's going to be really shocked to see you.
Tess: I can't think of any other way… it's taken me a week to get up the nerve to come here. And then I find out he's not in today. My luck. Maybe it's fate. Maybe we're never going to see each other again.
Another moment lengthens into an uncomfortable silence. Tess is looking around Maddie's office, then she suddenly cups her hand over her eye.
Tess: I think I have an eyelash in my eye. Do you have a restroom where I can check? These stupid contacts. One little eyelash and it feels like a steel rod in there.
Maddie: Sure. Right here.
She shows Tess into her bathroom and closes the door.
Maddie goes over to the sofa, sits down and looks out the window. She wonders how David will react to seeing Tess. It's been so long. Surely his male ego has has recovered by now. She ponders something that Tess said that night she talked to Maddie on the fire escape: (Transcribed from Big Man on Mulberry Street)
"I just wish he could put it behind him. I mean I know there's no chance that we'll ever be close again. I'd just feel so much better if he could even stand to be in the same room with me…"
Momentarily, Maddie's office door bursts open and in walks David. Shuffles in is more like it. He grabs a startled Maddie around the waist and begins crooning to her.
David: Well, it's a marvelous night for a moon dance, with the stars above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance, `neath the cover of October skies…
Maddie: David, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be sleeping.
David: I don't need no stinkin' sleep. (He resumes singing.) Can I just have one more moon dance with you, my love?
Maddie: David, I have to tell you something.
David: Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?
Maddie: David, please stop singing!
David: See? I knew one of these days I'd make you beg. (Starts kissing her neck) Now come on, Blondie. I brought champagne to christen the new digs. And the beemer is full of food that will look good (he holds her at arms length and gives her the once over) on you. (He starts singing once again, and attempts to twirl her out the door)
Well I want to make love to you tonight I can't wait till the morning is come…
Maddie: David! I need-
David: and I know now the time is just right…
Maddie: David! We have company.
David: and straight into my arms you will run…Huh?
Maddie: In the bathroom.
David: Well, who's here? Jeez, it's not your dad, is it?
Tess: It's me David.
His smile fades and he turns around slowly, feeling a coldness creep up his body to his cheeks. Feeling ambushed, shocked and flustered, but not wanting to show it he says:
David: Hi Tess. Wish I'd known you were coming-
Tess: So you could leave town?
David swallows hard.
Tess: You look great, David. The years have been more than kind to you.
David: Yeah, you too.
Tess: That old Addison charm hasn't worn thin either. I almost laughed out loud when I heard you walk in here singing.
David: Yeah, a little warning is always nice. But you were never any good at warnings.
Tess: I'm sorry for that David.
Maddie: I'll be outside.
Maddie walks out into the now deserted outer office and closes the door. David slumps down onto the sofa and stares glumly at the floor.
Tess: I'm sorry to show up without calling or letting you know, but you're still not an easy guy to pin down.
David: Well, you pinned me. (He looks back at the door.) Say what you gotta say.
Tess: I've just missed you, David. We used to be friends. I wish we had kept it at that.
David: Yeah would have saved all those lawyer fees.
Tess: Not to mention years of therapy... Can't we finally talk, David?
He's squirming on the sofa; picking up a pillow, putting it back down; leaning forward, leaning back against the cushions.
David: We're talking, Tess. Our mouths are moving. Sound is coming out. I'm hearing you.
Tess: I'm not so sure about that. All this time gone by and you still can't even look at me.
He stops his fidgeting and raises his head up to glare at her. She sees the look on his face and says:
Tess: I guess this was a mistake. I…I just wanted to see you. That's all. I don't expect forgiveness…I don't know…I'm just sorry, David.
She waits for a response, but realizes quickly that she's not going to get one.
Tess: This is familiar. A little too much like old times, David. Me doing all the talking, you doing all the sulking. Well, I won't bother you again. Good bye, David.
Tess walks out the door as David eases back on the sofa and stares up at the ceiling.
Maddie walks back in and stands beside him, her hands on her hips.
Maddie: That was quick.
David: Not much to say. What did you think was going to happen? We'd all have a good laugh then head down to the malt shop for banana splits?
Maddie: Spare me the sarcasm, please. David, she just wants to apologize.
David: Apologize? What the hell was she doing here? This is about the last place on earth I'd expect to see my ex-wife…bonding with you in your office… You shouldn't be sticking your nose where it don't belong, Maddie.
Maddie: I'm not! And we weren't bonding. She showed up here out of the blue looking for you. If the two of you had dealt with all these feelings years ago-
David (his voice rising an octave or two): You know nothing about it. It has nothing to do with you.
Maddie: I'm just saying-
David: Well, shut up about it! I don't care about her, about any of it… (He lets out a deep breath and takes both her hands.) Look, I'm sorry. I just didn't count on…
He rises from the sofa and walks toward the window. He looks outside at the city lights for a moment. She can see the dark circles under his eyes.
Maddie: David, you look exhausted…
Then he turns around to face Maddie.
David: You know, I don't feel like celebrating after all. I think I'll start working on our new case.
Maddie: David, it's late. The case can wait until tomorrow. It's just a dumb matrimonial thing, remember? Let's talk. You obviously have some unresolved issues with her.
David: I don't wanna talk. I'm not like you, Maddie. I don't talk and examine and re-examine and think everything to a bloody pulp… Look, I'm not tired…
Maddie: I want you to see my house… I'm worried about you.
David: Ah, don't worry about me…And as far as the house, I'll see it tomorrow. When I'm in a better mood. (He grins at her then.) You and I can bond…a lot.
Maddie: You're not going to go out and start a bar fight or a war are you?
David: Not tonight.
Maddie: I'll come with you, then.
David: Nah. I'll drive you home. Get some shuteye, Blondie. I'll fill you in tomorrow.
After a nearly silent ride to Maddie's house, David drives around aimlessly in the BMW, barely hearing the song on the radio…
But that girl is only in your mind…
She's leavin' everything behind
She's not the girl that's gonna make it right
So you can kiss that girl good bye…
He's angry with himself not to mention confused, over his reaction to Tess. Why the venom after…how many years? Twelve? He can't even remember. God, he's tired… But he does remember the day of Jimmy's funeral. How he had planned on going until Maddie had walked into his hotel room and he had realized she wanted to go with him. He'd had his doubts that he could deal with Tess on his own. But with Maddie? No way. Not then. He laughs at himself. Maybe not ever. He thinks back to that night, sitting in that cab under the Brooklyn Bridge, explaining it all to a cabby that didn't understand a word of English…(Transcribed from Big Man on Mulberry Street)
"It's not like I don't want to see her. It's just that I know Tess. If I see her she's gonna wanna talk about what happened. She's gonna wanna analyze it. She's gonna want me to tell her I'm okay with it. Well, I'm okay with it. As long as I don't gotta think about it.
And I got this other woman back at the hotel…I didn't tell her the whole truth. Nah, I told her the most important part. But look. Let's face it. A person in bed with your wife is a person in bed with your wife…"
Maybe he should have told Maddie the whole truth. But, hey, a little macho pride goes a long way, Dave. A long, long way. And as far as Tess goes…it's not like she was the love of his life. It's not like he pined away for her. He recovered quickly from the shock. Hell, he was on a plane to LA a week after he found her with…He chuckles to himself, repeating what he said to Maddie earlier in the evening.
David: Hell no, Maddie, I never think things to a bloody pulp.
But almost against his will, his mind keeps reeling in reverse. This time back to the night he left Tess.
There had been a near riot of a fight in the place where he was tending bar. The cops had shown up and closed down the joint so he had left work three hours early that night. He could have gone out with the guys; God knows they were always razzing him about being "whipped". But he had felt like he needed to go home to Tess. They hadn't really been getting along lately. She'd been going out on a lot of auditions, but hadn't gotten anything. He had assumed that was the reason behind the arguments. So he would cheer her up like only he could do like when they were kids. He would surprise her by showing up early and with…stuff! He placed his hand over the back pocket of his jeans where he had his tip money, thought, "What the hell. Still two weeks before the rent's due." He stopped by a neighborhood store, bought a bottle of inexpensive but not too cheap wine, some bread and cheese, and to top it off, some bubble bath. By the checkout counter he spotted a bouquet of day-old flowers that weren't yet brown around the edges and bought those too.
He had been grinning like a Cheshire cat when he quietly turned his key in the apartment door and crept inside. The place had been quiet and dark. He hadn't turned on any lights. He had taken the flowers out of the grocery bag and moved toward the bedroom. He gingerly opened the door and walked inside, almost tripping over a pile of discarded clothing. He approached the bed in the darkness, heard the covers rustling and a low moan. He heard her sigh and as he got closer to the bed his eyes adjusted to the darkness. He thought he saw another form in the bed with her. He stormed back to the wall beside the door and turned on the bedroom light. She quickly sat up, pulling the covers up over her naked breasts. Her eyes were huge when she saw him standing there. "David!" she screamed. The Cheshire grin long gone, he said, "Honey, I knew this wasn't exactly a match made in Heaven. Here. I brought you these. Why don't you hang onto em for a minute." He threw the flowers at her and marched to the other side of the bed. "What's wrong, pal? She didn't tell you she was married?" He had yanked the covers back and had seen what he had seen. He stumbled backward, turned around and walked out. As he slammed the apartment door he could hear her cry out his name.
He never saw it coming. Of all the ways his marriage might have come to an end, this was not in any scenario he imagined. He had wound up walking the streets of the Village all night. He had thought a lot about their child that hadn't lived. What if the baby had made it? Would that have made things different…?
Would they have stayed together then?
He actually shivers at that last thought. Nope, what happened was a blow to his ego, nothing more. And it had ended a relationship that was doomed from the start. Not like… Thoughts of Maddie bring him back to reality.
She's just a memory
So you can kiss the girl good bye
Kiss that girl good bye…
He pulls over to the curb outside a rundown office building. He looks up, sees a light burning on the second floor. He heaves a sigh, turns the key, climbs out of the car and walks into the building.
The scene: David enters his bedroom in his apartment very late that same night. He goes over to the answering machine, sees he has a message, and hits the playback button. Maddie's voice comes into the room after the beep:
Maddie: David…I'm sorry about tonight. I know you felt cornered, ganged-up-on. I'm sorry things happened this way. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you, David.
He yawns, shakes his head and falls backwards onto the bed.
The scene: The next morning, Maddie's bedroom where she is standing in front of her closet deciding what to wear. The scene: The next morning, Maddie's bedroom, where she is standing in front of her closet, deciding what to wear. She can't help but turn around and gaze into her newly redecorated bedroom. It's perfect, she decides. As she looks through her new wardrobe, the phone rings. She sits down on her new bed to answer it.
David: Good Morning, Gorgeous. How'd you sleep?
Maddie: Unaccompanied. Not what I was expecting.
David: Sorry. I guess I got kinda weird last night.
Maddie: You're "kinda weird" every night, David. Last night you were… scary. Do you want to talk about it yet?
David (chuckling): There you go again. Getting all analytical. You would have made a great shrink, kid.
Maddie: Guess I missed my calling.
He's quiet on the line for a beat.
David: Hey, I talked to that P.I. last night. We had a pretty interesting conversation.
David: Yeah. He claims he never falsified anything. Said he didn't have to. Said he couldn't find any damaging information on Miguel Bellatonto. And no evidence that he was having an affair.
Maddie: That's odd. Mr. Bellatonto had stacks of evidence.
David: It gets odder. He said the Mrs. was a loon. His words. A loon. She didn't believe anything he told her. He thought she'd be happy to know her husband wasn't sleeping around. But surprise, surprise. She called him a lousy investigator and refused to pay his bill. Glad the husband's our client instead of her.
Maddie: Boy, the way Mr. Bellatonto described his wife as being so loving and devoted just doesn't jibe with what you're saying about her.
David: Yeah, somebody's fibbing.
Maddie: Maybe I should go talk to her. Maybe she'd respond better to a woman telling her that her husband isn't lying.
David: I don't know if that's such a great idea.
Maddie: Why not?
David: Because we don't know who the liar is yet. We don't have enough information about these people. Why don't you wait until I talk to the cops.
Maddie: Well, I have to do something. Our answering service got a distraught phone call very early this morning from Mr. Bellatonto. He opened his club this morning and was immediately served with divorce papers.
David: Lucky guy.
Maddie: David. He's frantic. He loves his wife.
David: Maybe somebody should tell him he'd be better off without her.
Maddie: You don't know that. Honestly, this cynicism about marriage is not healthy, David.
David: Maddie, you're doing it again.
Maddie: I'm just a little disturbed that's all.
David: You said it. I didn't.
Maddie: Why don't you just talk to her and get it out of your system?
David: Maybe we should consult the great Oprah about it.
Maddie: Fine. Make jokes. You don't want to talk about it. That's fine. I'll see you at the office then.
David: That's why I called. I won't be in until later. I've gotta do something.
David: I'll let you know when I find something out, Maddie. I gotta go. Later.
She hears a dial tone on the other end. She sighs and hangs up the phone. She lies back on the bed.
She thinks: Idiot! Why won't he talk to me? She remembers what an idiot she had felt like following him to New York for his brother-in-law's funeral. How curious she had been about Tess, about the fact that he'd been married.
She remembers the night in her hotel room when he had knocked on her door and she had asked him about it…and he had told her the story of him and Tess. How he had felt safe with her, how special he had thought she was, how they had gotten married because she was pregnant. Then he had gotten to the part in the story about finding her in bed with "the census taker getting all kinds of pertinent information from her…"
She remembers the flight home when he told her he had gone to the funeral and seen Tess with "that guy"… Maddie had known full well that it was no guy. She had almost told him she knew the truth but had decided not to. She had wanted to prevent another argument, since he would have found out she had checked up on him. But she had also wanted to protect his macho pride. Maybe if she had told him she knew…maybe he wouldn't feel this need to keep her at arm's length. Maybe he could have dealt with Tess a little better when he saw her last night. She purses her lips and shakes her head.
Maddie: I've said it before and I'll say it again: Testosterone should be a controlled substance.
She gets up off the bed and continues her morning routine.
The scene: That same morning, David and Herbert Viola are driving in Bert's Ford. David is slumped down and quiet as he sits in the passenger seat. To Bert he seems in a bad mood, and Bert feels he knows why.
Bert: I want to thank you for showing such confidence in my abilities as an investigator, sir. After the last stake out…well…I was afraid the chili dog incident ruined my chances of ever going out on another case with you.
David: Don't mention it Bert.
Bert: I swear I'll never eat them again.
David: I said don't mention it.
David: You sure Bellatonto didn't see you in the office yesterday?
Bert: I'm sure, Mr. Addison. I was in the men's room…
David looks over at him disgustedly.
Bert: Never again, sir.
They drive in silence for awhile. David is so pensive and quiet it makes Bert nervous. He searches for something to say to fill the car with conversation. Finally, he comes up with:
Bert: Did you ever hook up with your old friend?
David: What old friend?
Bert: Ms. O'Malley. She came by the office when you were out. Oops, I think she wanted to surprise you.
David sits up higher in his seat and huffs audibly. He looks out the window.
David: She did.
Bert: Oh, so you did get to see her. That's good.
David: Uh huh.
Bert: Always nice to hear from old friends.
David: She's not exactly a friend.
Bert: Oh I get it, sir. An old conquest is more like it, eh?
Bert elbows him and gives him a lecherous grin.
David: You got your disguise, Mr. Viola?
Bert: I have it Mr. Addison but I don't have a cover story worked out yet.
David: If he didn't see you yesterday, you don't need a cover story. Just be yourself. A guy who needs to find a health club in a hurry- minus the fact that you work at Blue Moon.
Bert: But sir. I was thinking I could be a visiting foreign diplomat or a rock star or something like that.
David: Right now, I'm not paying you to think, son. And you're not quite ready for rock stardom. Eminem you ain't. We'd have to call you Skittles.
Bert (glumly): Yes sir.
They pull into the parking lot of "Flex", one in Mr. Bellatonto's chain of health clubs.
David: Okay, you ready to sweat to the oldies, Mr. Viola?
Bert: As ready as I'm ever going to be sir.
Just then a black sports car pulls into the lot and parks in a reserved spot by the door. But this is not just any sports car.
Bert: Wow…A Lamborghini Diablo. That's like the most expensive sports car ever made. Talk about conspicuous consumption and total self-indulgence, Mr. Addison.
Miguel Bellatonto climbs out, and with his back to car, he raises his arm over his head and clicks a button on his key chain to set the alarm. Without so much as a backward glance he keeps walking toward the club.
David: Now that guy is just one big smooth move.
Bert: Do you know what those things cost, Mr. Addison? They're like $250,000! With all the suffering in the world today, it's a moral outrage to buy a car like that.
David: Relax, Bert. Maybe he got a good buy… Okay, Bert, this is it. Go in there and do your duty. Just see how he acts in there, especially around the ladies. Observe his method of training. Notice the way he interacts with his female clientele. Does he touch them? Fondle them, perhaps? (Under his breath) Why couldn't I ever find a gig like this?
Bert: What was that sir?
David: And if you see this girl (he shows him Lori Christopher's picture) call me right away. I'll check in with you later. I'm going to see if I can track this lady down.
Bert: But, sir. When will you be back for me? I can't stay in the gym exercising all day… Sweating gives me hives.
David: Well, no offense, Bert, but if my squeeze looked at a guy the way Agnes was looking at Mr. Gym Rat yesterday I might have a hankerin' to do some serious abdominal work.
Bert: No offense taken sir… Do you really think Agnes thinks I'm out of shape?
David: Don't worry, Bert. I'm sure she loves you just the way you are. And if she doesn't, the hell with her.
Bert: The hell with Agnes, Mr. Addison? But I love her. I want to make her happy.
David: Then prepare for that final ride on the train, Bert.
Bert: What train sir?
David: That march down the aisle. That declaration of undying love and affliction. And be prepared to let her tie you up by the-(He shakes his head.) Look, Bert. You're not here to fix your floundering love life. Just have a good time. I shouldn't be more than a couple hours. Enough time for a good aerobic workout, some weightlifting, maybe even a dip in the Jacuzzi.
Bert: But I don't have any trunks for the Jacuzzi, sir…
He receives another exasperated look from David.
Bert: I guess I should have thought of that earlier.
David: Shoulda, woulda, coulda, Mr. Viola. You oughta know by now that the babes always wind up in the Jacuzzi. Cheer up, Bert my boy. You can always go in the sauna instead. You don't need your trunks in there.
David smiles and elbows him, then climbs out of the car to get into the driver's seat. Bert sits with his hands on the wheel looking terror stricken.
Bert: Sir, do I have to?
David (shaking his head): I won't be long. Have a good work out.
He pries Bert's hands off the wheel and Bert reluctantly enters the health club.
The scene: Inside the state-of-the-art gym. The soundtrack starts softly in the background…a familiar song…a good work-out song… as the camera pans the place. There are fit bodies, mostly female, working out on the nautilus equipment. Bert sees big, burly guys sweating and grunting as they lift huge barbells. He is standing just outside the locker room, desperately trying to keep remembering to suck in his gut. He looks around tentatively. The camera sweeps him, starting at his feet and moving up his body. The music picks up as he gathers his nerve to go out onto the floor.
Back on the street
Took my time, took my chances
Went the distance now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive…
He wears brand new black Reeboks and leg warmers. He is dressed in tight black and white striped spandex pants, which leave nothing to the imagination. Covering his chest is a black tank top, tufts of curly black hair straining to get out of it in all directions. As we get to his sweatbanded head (a la Staying Alive) the music hits a crescendo.
It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And his fortune must always be
The eye of the tiger…
He puffs out his chest confidently and proceeds to the floor. A bouncy, smiling female trainer approaches him.
Female Trainer: All ready to start your workout, Mr. Viola? I figured we'd start with bikes to warm up, then move to some free weights, maybe a round or two with the stair master-
His chest deflates.
Bert (timidly): You know, I don't feel really comfortable doing this with a woman instructor. Nothing personal you understand.
F.T.: Oh, I understand. Well, let me see who's free. Let's see… Tony doesn't look busy.
Bert: Tony looks somewhat… bloodthirsty. Isn't there anyone else?
F.T.: Not really, Mr. Viola.
Bert: What about that man in there on the phone.
He points toward a wall of glassed-in offices.
F.T.: That's Mr. Bellatonto, the owner.
Bert: All the better!
F.T.: I'm afraid he's not available today. Listen, I promise that if you let me show you around, I won't give you anything to do that you can't handle. I promise to take it slow--
Bert: Oh, it's not that! I assure you I am in peak physical condition.
F.T.: You just prefer the company of men?
Bert: Huh? N…no. On the contrary. I love women. Lots of `em. All the time.
The woman continues to smile vacuously. He isn't sure if she's not listening or just not believing a word that he's saying.
Bert: Oh forget it. Just give me the rundown on the place.
She happily drags him off-screen.
The Scene: Maddie drives her car down a winding road, through a neighborhood not unlike her own. Her radio plays as she drives:
Not of this earth
You've changed places with the sun
I know that you're the one
I love what we've become…
We see her slowing down, looking for a house number.
She's not of this earth
And I no longer need to search
If I ever leave this world
You will have a song to sing
So you know what you're worth…
She pulls up outside a well-appointed suburban home. She checks herself in the rearview mirror for a second, then climbs out of the BMW, up the walkway to the front door and rings the bell. A blond women with what looks like a permanent scowl on her face answers.
Maddie: Mrs. Bellatonto?
Woman (irritably): Yes. Who are you and what do you want?
Maddie: I'm sorry to disturb you. My name is Maddie Hayes-
Woman: Whatever you're selling, I don't want any.
She starts to slam the door.
Maddie: No! Mrs. Bellatonto, I'm not selling anything. Your husband hired my firm yesterday. The Blue Moon Detective Agency.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Another detective agency? Then I definitely don't want to talk to you.
Maddie: Please Mrs. Bellatonto. I have some information about your husband that may interest you.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Oh all right, then, come in.
Maddie is shown into the expensively furnished formal living room and sits down on an uncomfortably hard sofa. Maddie takes in the woman's appearance. She is probably a few years older than Maddie and is dressed in a frumpy sweat suit, designed for comfort and nothing else. Her permed frosted hair is unstyled and looks as if it's stayed unwashed for a few days. She is wearing make-up in an unsuccessful attempt to cover the large deep circles under her eyes, which dart about nervously. Her lipstick has worn off lips that look like she has chewed them to death. In short, she looks like a woman under a great deal of duress and she doesn't quite fit into this prim, flawless setting.
Maddie: Mrs. Bellatonto, your husband is very distressed over the papers you served him with this morning.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Distressed, huh. Maybe he should have thought about how distressed he was going to be before he started sleeping with that bitch.
Maddie: He swears he didn't.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Are you married?
Maddie: No, but-
Mrs. Bellatonto: Of course not. If you were, you would know that when they swear it never happened, 99% of the time they're lying. Oh some of them want to get caught. They leave plenty of clues around to be found. They'll leave a matchbook from an obscure motel in a coat pocket so you find it when you take their clothes to the cleaners. But some, like my Miguel, get away with murder, if you'll pardon the expression. They don't use charge cards for flowers or romantic dinners. They pay cash for everything. They make sure they are never seen in a compromising situation with the other woman. They make sure to have sex with you-great, passionate sex- just so it turns your mind to mush and you start to feel like your suspicions are all unfounded. You start to feel ashamed that you ever doubted him. But as soon as he walks out that door…
Maddie: Mrs. Bellatonto, I'm not claiming to know your husband better than you do, in fact, I barely know the man at all, but we had a handwriting expert check those letters against samples of Lori Christopher's handwriting and in his opinion-
Mrs. Bellatonto: His! Don't tell me- he doesn't believe me either.
Maddie: This isn't personal. This man couldn't care less whether or not your husband has been cheating on you. He is a professional. He cares about his reputation as such. He would never falsify information just to cover up for someone because he's a man too.
Mrs. Bellatonto: There are other things. Letters, phone bills, pictures…
Maddie: All of which could be faked or misinterpreted.
Mrs. Bellatonto's angry façade slips somewhat as she sits down on the sofa next to Maddie on the verge of tears.
Mrs. Bellatonto: A wife just knows when her husband is straying.
Maddie: Has it happened before?
Mrs. Bellatonto (looking down at her hands, nodding): Many times. And I just can't take it anymore.
A single tear falls down her cheek and she grabs a tissue off the coffee table to wipe it quickly.
Mrs. Bellatonto: I feel like such a fool.
Maddie: I'm sorry. But he seems to genuinely love you.
Mrs. Bellatonto lifts her head and looks pointedly at Maddie.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Things aren't always what they seem.
Maddie: Why would he hire us if he didn't want to save his marriage?
Mrs. Bellatonto: To save his business. This is a community property state. I can take half of everything he's earned since we've been married. That includes the clubs.
Maddie: I see. But the man that came into my office yesterday had more on his mind than financial concerns. And this morning when I talked to him, he was reeling nearly out of control.
Mrs. Bellatonto: Out of control?
Maddie: Yes. He was devastated.
Mrs. Bellatonto: But Miguel never loses control. He keeps everything bottled up. It's funny. That's what has made him such a great trainer. He would exercise to let off steam. His total discipline and obsessiveness are what built his empire. But when he looks at me…all he sees is failure. I'm not one of his success stories, I'm afraid.
Maddie: When he talked about you yesterday, he said you had a wonderful marriage. He said he loved you very much.
Mrs. Bellatonto: He did?
Maddie: Yes. And I must tell you that the evidence against him is flimsy at best. Those letters were typed on his business computer to which any employee has access. The phone calls were all very short and your husband says were only made to remind Ms. Christopher about her appointments. The pictures don't really show anything compromising either. Now, don't you have children?
Mrs. Bellatonto: Two. Sara and C.J. They're both in school right now.
Maddie: You know how difficult divorce is on children. Don't you owe it to them to at least give Miguel the chance to explain? I'm not saying take him back or believe everything he says unconditionally. But just talk to him.
Mrs. Bellatonto: All right, Ms… Hayes is it? I'll call him at work and invite him over to talk.
Maddie: Thank you, Mrs. Bellatonto…For giving me a chance to talk to you and for giving Miguel another chance too.
The women smile, shake hands and Maddie leaves. As she is walking back down the walkway from the house, she has a very satisfied smile on her face. She climbs into the car and whispers to herself:
Maddie: Yep. David's right, Maddie. You would have made one hell of a shrink.
As she drives away, the curtains flutter in the window of the Bellatonto's perfect house.
The Scene: The health club. David spies Bert riding an exercise bicycle looking like he might slip into a coma at any moment. David hurries over to him.
David: Okay, Buns of Steel. Work out's over. Hit the showers and meet me in the boss's office.
Bert: Buns of Jell-O, sir. That woman practically killed me.
David: What woman?
Bert: Jill, my personal trainer. Personal nazi is more like it.
David: What about Bellatonto?
Bert: He has spent three hours on the phone, Mr. Addison. He hasn't left his office. Sorry I didn't get a chance to see him with any women. Oh God. You're not going to make me come back here tomorrow are you?
David: Don't worry, Bert. Your beer gut's safe and sound. I think I cracked this one.
Bert: Really, sir? How? When? Where?
David: By checking out the characters in this melodrama, just now, at the police station. Now go and get some clothes on. But please, for the sake of all of us, please take a shower first.
Bert: Yes, sir!
David strides into Mr. Bellatonto's office, where he is still on the phone, his back to the door.
Miguel: I'm just telling you Marvin. I can't let her get her hands on the clubs. I don't care what else I have to give her, the house, the kids, but she cannot get my business. Or the car! That's all that matters.
David clears his throat. Miguel turns around abruptly.
Miguel: I'll call you back, Marvin. (He hangs up the phone and looks at David expectantly.) Mr. Addison, what are you doing here? Do you have some good news I hope?
David: All the news that's not fit to print…except for maybe the National Pit. They might like this one.
Miguel: What are you talking about? You're not taking any of this to the papers, I'll see to that. We have a confidentiality agreement, which if you breach, I'll sue you for all you're worth.
David: Confidentiality agreements aside, Mr. Bellatonto, when we talked yesterday we assumed that you were telling the truth. But I think I found a little… let's say, a discrepancy in your story.
Miguel: What do you mean?
David: You neglected to tell us some facts, Mr. Bellatonto.
Miguel: I told you everything you needed to know.
Miguel repeats all the information he gave in David's office yesterday as David sits down in front of his desk looking bored. After a few minutes he begins to realize… no Bert yet.
David: Where the hell is Bert?
He scans the club quickly through the glass door, then hold up his hand so the client will stop talking.
David (angrily): Listen, I know what you said yesterday, Mr. Bellatonto. But you didn't tell us that Susie Homemaker has a temper, not to mention a criminal record for assault.
Miguel: Carla has a bit of a jealous streak. So what?
David: So what? She has, on more than one occasion attacked women you've trained! Didn't you think that was somewhat pertinent in light of the fact that one of your clients has disappeared?
Miguel: She has a temper, but-
David: But nothing. What were you doing, gaslighting her? Were you trying to drive her nuts so you could put her in a bin and you could divorce her quietly and get everything?
Miguel: That's ridiculous!
David: You knew how suspicious and jealous she was. You knew she'd come snooping around. Why did you keep those letters on your computer? Why didn't you delete them if they were so damning?
Miguel looks at him blankly.
David: What, no quick denial? And what about Lori Christopher? Was she an innocent victim in all this? Or were you really sleeping with her? Weren't you the least bit concerned that you hadn't seen or heard from her for two weeks?
Miguel: Of course not. People come and go.
David: No, of course not. Well, I took Lori Christopher's picture to the cops today. She matches a Jane Doe that's been lying in the morgue for two weeks with her head bashed in.
Miguel: Oh my God. You don't think Carla…
David: I think maybe she got more than a little testy when she found out you two were exercising your pelvic muscles together.
Miguel: That's not true.
David: So you deny that you were seeing Lori Christopher.
Miguel: Of course I deny it.
David: That's your story and you're sticking to it, eh? And I suppose if the cops interviewed all your employees that they'd back up your story?
Miguel doesn't skip a beat.
Miguel: Sure they would because it's the truth. Lori and I were strictly business.
David: Yeah, I bet. Maybe I should bring Jill in here right now. See what she knows about those letters your wife found.
Miguel: You've talked to Jill? What did she tell you? If she said anything defamatory she's fired.
David: Now who's getting testy? Technically, I don't know if the things you did are illegal, but morally, you're just as much to blame for that woman's death as your wife is Mr. Bellatonto. And the police are very interested to talk to you both. In fact, they should be arriving at your house right about now.
Miguel: Surely my business won't survive a scandal like this. Even if Carla did have something to do with Lori's disappearance-
David: And murder. Don't forget that little tidbit.
Miguel: Surely we can keep this quiet. At least until the divorce is final.
David: Oh…is that the truth finally coming out of the locker room? All this show of love for your wife was just an act, right? You wanted to look like the injured party in all this, didn't you? So I guess this relationship wasn't exactly a match made in heaven after all?
Miguel: You know any that are?
David: I can think of one or two.
Miguel: She's a nightmare! Surely you can see that now.
David: Yeah, I can see it and stop calling me Shirley. (He looks at the camera.) I know it's an old joke, but I couldn't resist. Call Marvin back and let him know he can meet you at the nearest police station. Where the hell is Bert?
David goes outside and looks around the club for him. He's nowhere to be found. He goes out to the parking lot where he parked the car. It's gone. He walks back into the club.
David: Mind if I borrow your phone for a minute, Mr. B.?
Miguel (his head in his hands): Go right ahead.
David calls the office.
David: That's weird. No answer.
David hangs up the phone and looks off into space, chewing his bottom lip. A sense of unease starts to creep up on him.
David: Change of plans, Miguel. We're going by my office first. And I'm driving. Fast.
David grabs Miguel's car keys and they head out the door.
Meanwhile, back at Blue Moon…the phone rings
Agnes: Blue Moon Detective Agency
Has your spouse been cheating?
We'll get the goods on him
Then hold your hand
We're a business with heart
But we're ruthless and tough
So remember our number
When you've had enough.
She looks apprehensively into the camera before she continues.
There's just one little thing
The writers want said
I'm not sure it's proper
But oh what the heck
It's one little item
A break with decorum
If you like what you read
COMMENT ON THE FORUM!
Maddie walks in the front door, still beaming from her successful talk with Mrs. Bellatonto.
Agnes (shaking the telephone handset): Hello? Hello? That's funny. It just went dead.
Maddie: Doesn't that happen to you a lot? (She receives a vacant look from Agnes.) Never mind. Ms. Dipesto, has Mr. Addison called? Is he in yet?
Agnes: No he's out with that knucklehead.
Maddie: Which knucklehead might that be?
Maddie: Do you know what the knucklehead and his mentor are doing?
Agnes: They're staking out Mr. Bellatonto's health club. Don't you think a health club membership would be a good company benefit, Ms. Hayes?
Maddie: I'll look into it, Ms. Dipesto. Why did they go there?
Agnes (a faraway look in her eyes): Hmmm? Where?
Maddie: To Mr. Bellatonto's club.
Agnes: Oh…who knows. All I know is Herbert was strutting around here all morning like a bandy rooster. Just because he got picked for another stake out. He acts like Mr. Addison asked him to be vice president or something… the knucklehead.
Maddie: Oh…Okay…well, I'll be in my office. Could you let me know if you hear from them? I'd like to talk to Mr. Addison ASAP.
Maddie goes into her office and closes the door. She walks into her bathroom and soon walks out with something in her hand. She calls Agnes on the intercom.
Maddie: Agnes, would you come in here for a minute, please?
Agnes pops her head in the door.
Agnes: Yes, Ms. Hayes?
Maddie: Come in Agnes.
Agnes dutifully steps into the office, closes the door and sits in front of Maddie.
Maddie: Did Ms. O'Malley happen to mention to you where she was staying?
Agnes thinks a moment.
Maddie: Hmm. She didn't say anything to me either. I wonder if she told David?
Agnes: Oh good. She did get to see him, then.
Maddie: Yes, she did.
Agnes: I hope they had a nice visit.
Maddie: They visited…She accidentally left these in my bathroom.
Maddie: Her contact lenses. She got something in her eye and had to remove them. But I have no idea where she's staying or if she's even still in town. Oh well, I guess if she needs them, she'll call us. I guess.
Agnes: Ms. Hayes? Can I ask you a question?
Maddie: About what?
Agnes: That lady…Tess.
Maddie (apprehensively): You'd better not, Agnes.
Agnes: Well… whoever she is… it's nothing to worry about. It was over a long time ago.
Maddie says nothing.
Agnes: They've both moved on.
Maddie: I hope so… I think so.
Agnes: Yep. Sure they have. And it's a good thing. Those two never should have gotten married in the first place.
Maddie: Agnes! How did you know that?
Agnes: One time, a long time ago…it was when you were in Chicago…you know…when you were there for that time. Anyway, he was wreck. He was drink-I mean he was depressed, and he said something nasty about being married-you know how he used to get.
Maddie thinks back to their conversation in his office yesterday, and thinks there's nothing "used to" about it.
Agnes: Anyway he said his ex-wife's name was Tess. I just put two and two together and came up with-
Maddie: A very peculiar triangle.
Agnes: No. Not a triangle. Not three. Just two. Just you.
Maddie: You're right, Agnes. It was all over a long time ago. But I think…I don't know…he still has a problem with her. Things he's stuffed deep down inside. Things he needs to deal with.
Agnes: Don't worry about him. You know he's got his own way of dealing with things.
Maddie: That's what worries me.
Agnes: I bet he's been thinking it all over since he saw her.
Maddie: Mr. Addison doesn't like to think.
Agnes: Well, I bet he's okay.
Maddie: Maybe you're right, Agnes. Sometimes your insight… well, you just amaze me.
Agnes (giggling): Yeah, I do, don't I? Well, I better get back out there.
Maddie: Okay, but let me know when he calls, okay?
She walks back out, Maddie staring after her, shaking her head.
As Agnes walks out of the office she sees Bert standing at her desk, talking to Tess. She overhears part of their conversation as she approaches them.
Bert: I miss the Great White Way.
Tess: Really? Are you an actor?
Bert: Me? Noooo…but in high school-Oh hi Agnes. We were wondering where you were.
Agnes: I was in Ms. Hayes's office. (To Tess) Hi again.
Tess: Hi. I left my-
Agnes: I know. I'll get them.
There's a commotion outside the front office door that stops her in her tracks.
A few moments later, in the hallway outside Blue Moon…
David and Miguel Bellatonto are getting off the elevator. There is a crowd of people waiting to get on. Miguel stops suddenly as he sees a woman he recognizes standing down the hall, looking toward them.
David: What the…what are all these people doing?
Someone getting on the elevator tells him:
Man: There was a bomb threat. The building is being evacuated.
The woman looks around, her eyes darting everywhere, until she spies Miguel and David. She flows with the sea of humanity until she is standing in front of them.
Woman: Hello, Miguel, how nice to see you.
Miguel: What are you doing here?
Woman: My lawyer is in this building.
Miguel: No she's not.
Woman: I was visiting an old friend then.
Woman: Who's he?
David: Who's she?
Woman: Maybe I was talking to one of your girlfriends, Miguel. I always have so much in common with them.
Miguel: Carly, please. I don't have any girlfriends.
David: This is your wife?
Carla: This one actually came by the house this morning. Talked about how sad you were that I'm divorcing you. How upset you were and how much you loved me and wanted to make it work. Talked a fine game too. Almost had me convinced until she started calling you by your first name, like you knew each other intimately.
A set of heavy loppers drops out of her coat. They are covered with dried blood.
Miguel: Oh my God, what have you done?
David's unease grows to definite panic when he sees this. He starts struggling to get through the crowd of people trying to leave the building.
David: When I said I wanted a good murder case this is not what I meant!
As he's making his way down the hall he sees a building security guard.
David: Security! Hold that woman for the police. (Whispering) Maddie. Oh God, Maddie.
He runs into the office and sees the staff just standing around looking like a herd of deer caught in the headlights.
He rushes past them and Tess still standing at the front desk and heads into Maddie's office.
David: Maddie! Maddie!
Maddie (alarmed, rushing from the bathroom): What David? Did you hear about the bomb threat? Maybe you can get the employees to leave-
He grabs her by her arms and starts looking her over head to toe.
David: Honey, are you all right?
Maddie: David, I'm fine. I'm sure it's a false alarm. Did you see Tess out there?
David (distractedly): Tess? Yes, I saw Tess.
Maddie: She only came by because she left these here last night. (She holds out the contact lens case to show him.) So don't get mad again.
David: Don't worry I'm not in a snit. In fact I saw something just now that scared me snitless.
Maddie: I'm sure she wouldn't have come by at all, but she couldn't call. Apparently the phone system is out of order.
David (to himself): She must have used the loppers to cut the phone lines. And to kill Lori Christopher… She must have been waiting out in the hall for you.
He gapes at her, takes her face in his hands and starts planting kisses all over her face. She pulls back so she can look at him.
Maddie: What are you talking about? What loppers? Who's in the hall? What is with you Addison?
He kisses her long and deeply.
Maddie (breathlessly): You're acting very weird again. And that look on your face…
David (tenderly stroking her face): Get used to it, Blondie. This is how I plan to look at you for- a long time.
Maddie: David? Are you all right?
David: Fine. I'm fine.
Maddie pulls away reluctantly, but she's very aware of Tess being on the other side of that door. She places her hand on the doorknob then remembers about her heart-to-heart talk with Mrs. Bellatonto.
Maddie (excitedly): Oh! Real quickly I just want to tell you that I went to see Mrs. Bellatonto this morning and I think I may have gotten through to her.
David: Yeah, you could say that. I'm just glad she didn't get through to you.
Maddie: I have no idea what you're talking about.
David (chuckling and shaking his head): I'll fill you in later, Blondie.
Maddie stands with her hand on the doorknob looking at him with a perplexed expression. He pulls her to him and wraps her in his arms tightly once again. He whispers into her ear:
David: Maddie, I've been thinking…
Maddie: Oh no. Not again.
David: I have something important to ask you.
Maddie: What David?
David: Will you-
He hesitates. She can't see the smile on his face. Her eyes widen.
Maddie: David, we're not ready-
David: Do me the honor-
Maddie: For this-
David: Of attending Richie's wedding with me.
She heaves a sigh of relief and looks into his eyes.
Maddie: I'd love to, David.
There's a quiet knock on the door.
Maddie: Come in.
Tess appears in the doorway. David doesn't attempt to let go of Maddie.
Tess: I'm sorry to barge in, but I have a plane to catch.
David: And I've got a loon to catch. Gotta go.
He gives Maddie a quick kiss on the forehead and walks out of her office. Maddie and Tess are left looking at each other, probably thinking the same thought: There goes David Addison running away…again. Maddie sighs heavily and Tess shrugs as David's head pops back inside the door.
David: Hey, Tess?
Tess: Yes, David?
David: I was pretty lousy husband material. Sorry.
Tess: I didn't do very well in the wife department either.
David: You happy? I mean now?
Tess: Yes, I am.
David: Good. (He looks at Maddie quickly.) Me too. So…
David: Ancient history.
Tess (a relieved smile spreading across her face): Bygones.
David: Okay. See ya.
David leaves and Maddie and Tess are standing dumbfounded in the office.
Tess: Who was that man?
Maddie: I am not sure.
Tess: Who would have thought…David Addison, a grown-up.
Maddie: Well, at least a post-adolescent.
The women smile at each other and walk out the door.
They see David yelling at Bert.
David: Where the hell did you go?
Bert: You said to meet you at the boss's office. I assumed you meant back here.
David (smacking himself on the forehead): Ai Chihuahua.
Wanting to shift the attention away from himself, Bert points toward the two women walking out of Maddie's office.
Bert: Oh, sir. There's Ms. O'Malley. You didn't tell me she was a thespian.
Maddie, David and Tess exchange bewildered looks.
Agnes (rolling her eyes): Knucklehead.
The scene: Maddie's house, that evening. Maddie guides David toward her living room, a blindfold over his eyes. A soft love song is playing in the background.
I've been searching a long time
for someone exactly like you
I've been traveling all around the world
Waiting for you… to come through…
David: Do I hear music?
Maddie: Shhh. That's part of the surprise.
Someone like you… you make it all worthwhile
Someone like you keeps me satisfied
Someone exactly like you…
When they are at the entrance, she pulls the blindfold off and says:
Maddie: Ta Da!
David looks around the room, trying to take it all in. The place is completely different. The pastel colors, chrome, glass, white sectional sofa are all history. The walls have been colorwashed to a subtle golden hue. The tone is warm, creating depth without being too dark or garish. David walks a little further into the room and slips on the new tile floor.
Maddie: It's Saltillo tile imported from Spain. It's a little slick right now but it'll roughen up with wear. I went with a lighter color than before. Do you like it?
He taps his foot on the tile.
David: It's a little hard. I guess we won't be rolling around on the floor much in Virtual Season Eight.
Maddie: That's what the rug is for, Stupid.
He sees then that most of the tile is covered by a rich Indian tapestry rug in shades of burgundy, navy, and chestnut brown. He looks up at the high ceiling to see exposed, rough-hewn beams. He takes a 360-degree turn around the room. The window coverings are simple: diaphanous ivory gauze draped casually over iron curtain rods. Where the glass coffee table once stood is a large ornately carved square wooden trunk, either resembling or perhaps an actual antique chest from Spain. In place of the white L-shaped sectional are two overstuffed caramel colored leather sofas, with pillows patterned after the colors in the room sized rug. Miss Me looks up at him from her reserved spot on one sofa and wags her stubby tail. David whistles, then scowls. He points toward the side windows.
David: Where's the grand?
Maddie: The what?
David: The piano.
Maddie: It's not like anyone ever played it. It was just taking up space so I sold it.
David: Too bad. It figured pretty centrally into one of my future fantasies.
Maddie: I'm not too worried. I'm sure you've got a few to fall back on. I have two chairs and a table on order for over there. I figure it'll be a nice place for romantic dinners-
David: Or poker games.
Maddie: Dream on, Addison.
David: Strip poker then…
He takes her arm and pulls her toward him. As they are about to kiss, he stops short.
David: Where is that music coming from?
She walks over to a rustic armoire next to the fireplace, pulls on a wrought iron knob to reveal a new state-of-the-art stereo system and large screen TV.
David: Can you work all that stuff?
Maddie: I can fumble my way around. Besides, I know this guy who's really into music. And I use that term loosely. He can figure it out. The speakers are inset into the walls.
He whistles his appreciation once again, folds his arms over his chest and nods his head.
David: This is okay, Goldilocks.
Maddie: Thank you for your resounding approval.
David: What do you want? You should know by the looks of my place that I'm just not a decorating kind of guy. Which, by the way, should make you very happy.
He wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her close, starts nibbling on her neck.
Maddie: Why's that?
David: Because guys who are into decorating are rarely into women, if you know what I mean?
Maddie: That is such a stupid stereotype, David.
David: Okay, okay. So let's go check out the most significant room in the joint.
Maddie (in mock surprise): I didn't redo the kitchen.
David: What would be the point? Everything in there looks brand new. I think you know which room I'm talking about Ms. Hayes.
He takes her by the hand and leads her up the stairs. As Maddie goes to open the master bedroom door he stops her.
David: Can I blindfold you this time?
Maddie: David! Some of our readers are still kids.
David: Hell, one of our writers is still a kid. So what?
Maddie: So get a grip on yourself.
David: It's funner when you do it.
Maddie (sighs): Do you want to see the bedroom or not?
David: Lead the way, oh mistress of Shangri La.
Maddie opens the door and steps aside to allow him to enter first.
This room has also undergone a major overhaul. Still feminine, there is nothing peach about it. The carpet has been replaced with an ivory cut Berber with flecks of earthtone colors throughout. The walls are textured and whitewashed to look like old plaster. No pictures adorn them, but there are two large scrolled iron wall sconces flanking the bed. And the bed…David glances over at Maddie beaming in the doorway. He moves to the foot of the bed. The contemporary headboard has been replaced by a spectacular antique iron canopy with yards and yards of creamy muslin draped around it. A fluffy down comforter is enveloped in an elegant taupe floral brocade as well as about ten pillows of varying shapes and sizes on top. There are matching distressed pine side tables and delicate wrought iron lamps on either side. Two slipper chairs covered in the same brocade as the duvet and a small iron table with a glass top complete the room. Maddie has lit three candles around the space, giving it a warm glow.
Maddie: So…what do you think?
Someone like you…
Just like you baby…
David: I'm still hearing music.
Maddie walks past him and uncovers a speaker sitting flush inside the wall, hidden behind a plant.
Maddie: It's a centralized system, wired throughout the house. Even in the bathroom so you don't have to sing a cappella in the shower. Thank God.
David (grinning ear to ear): Maddie, I love you.
Maddie (a smug smile on her face): I know.
His eyes continue to scan the room, but she can't tell whether he likes it or hates it.
David: It's so…
Maddie: If you hate it, too bad. It's my bedroom. And I love it.
David: No, I don't hate it at all. It's just so…
Maddie: So what David?
David grabs the frame of the bed and gives it a good shake, trying to determine if it is sturdy. He looks up and over the entire frame.
David: Mmmm…seems strong enough…got some possibilities. Attachments?
Maddie shakes her head disapprovingly.
He lifts up part of the muslin surrounding the canopy.
David: This stuff…whatever it is…could tend to get in the way. Hell, I'll probably get tangled up in it and strangle myself. However, that could have been your plan all along.
Maddie: David…be honest. Tell me what you think.
David: You know me, Maddie. Anything horizontal. I got a question for you though.
Maddie: And what would that be?
David: All these pillows. Do they stay here all night?
She smiles seductively, leans over him and starts to pull the pillows off the bed and onto the floor. He stops her hand before she gets to the bottom of the pile. They give each other a long look, she moves into his arms and they fall back onto the bed.
…Marching to the beat of a different drum
But lately I've realized
The best is yet to come…
FADE TO MUTED EARTH TONES
Afternoon Delight Starland Vocal Band
Moon Dance Van Morrison
Kiss That Girl Sheryl Crow
Eye of the Tiger Survivor
Not of This Earth Robbie Williams
Someone Like You Dina Carroll
This virtual episode has been brought to you by:
Fantasies of Jimmy Smits
The soundtrack to Bridget Jones's Diary …and last but certainly not least,
The Blue Side of the Moon, the greatest and most complete Moonlighting Soundtrack ever. Mickey, I am in awe.
And although my name is attached to this episode, Sarah, Lizzie and Diane deserve much of the credit for helping me stay focused when the going got rough. I feel that both Lizzie and Diane should also get a writing credit for nursing me through a near fatal case of writer's block. Their suggestions and great wit helped keep me on track and have spared all you readers from thirty pages of crap (I hope).
Thanks for Reading,