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Virtual Season Eight - Episode Nine

Just a New York Weekend

Act 1 - FRIDAY

Early Morning - Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) 

It is early morning in late January 1992.  Taxis, buses and cars are zooming about picking up and dropping off.  A traveler emerges from the terminal amid the hoards of other travelers. With a folded bill in his hand, he motions to one of the handlers for a taxi.  The handler grabs the bill and nods to the first one in line, and slams the door after the traveler has jumped into the back seat. 

“The Waldorf.” he says softly. 

“Where to, Mac?”

“The Waldorf-Astoria, Park Avenue.”  He says again a little louder, but with even less conviction.

The driver hastily pulls away from the curb and slips into the hectic traffic paying no heed to the blasting horns and screeching tires. 

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is arguably the best New York has to offer.  Where else would she be staying --  the client is paying for it. The passenger slumps down vainly trying for that last thirty minutes of sleep before the BIG reunion … what a surprise it will be … for her.

Minutes later the yellow cab emerges from the Lincoln Tunnel out onto the slushy barren streets of midtown Manhattan.  The cabbie is making record time, like the prize rat in a maze, cutting through the side streets and alleyways.  The passenger has slouched down onto the seat and can only see the tops of the buildings.  He is wondering if this trip was a mistake.  He is just about to sit up and tell the driver to take him somewhere else, anywhere else, when the tires lock and the cab slides to a stop.

The doorman pulls open the door and does his best Waldorf greeting.  “Good morning, sir.  Welcome to New York.”

The biting freezing wind rips though the cab and slaps the poor traveler hard in the face.  The traveler is sure that the harsh city streets will not be the coldest reception he will get this morning.  Tossing the cabbie some money (barely enough to cover the fare), he ducks into the revolving doors and disappears up the stairs.  He does this so quickly, as not to lose his nerve, we never get a chance to see his face.  The doorman looks back at the cabbie.

“Jag off!”  He mumbles counting the money.  To the doorman, “Hey … grab his bag will ya?”

The doorman reaches down and pulls a small duffel bag from the back seat. 

“Got a couple going to La Guardia.”  The doorman informs him.

“Get ‘em out here. Time is money at this hour of the morning.”

“Isn’t it always?”

Cut to the Eleventh Floor

The elevator doors open and the traveler walks out and wanders down the hall.

“1115 … 1115 … 1115.”  He mutters to himself.

The door is in front of him.  1115.  Deep breath.  He knocks.

A female voice from inside calls, “Yes?”

“Room Service.”  He says with a Puerto Rican accent.

“Wrong room.”  She barks back.

“Hotel Laundry.”  He tries again.

“Wrong Room.”  She barks again with increased anger.

“Candy gram.” 


“Land shark.”

She finally opens the door.  It is Amelia Roberts, a.k.a. Amy Addison – although she never did take her husband’s name.  Her expression is one of shock and irritation with a tinge of disgust.  She is mostly dressed (dark blue skirt, white shirt, hose and her hair is pulled back and her make up is on) but not quite ready for the New York legal system (no shoes, no suit coat and no briefcase).

“Hey Ames … what’s shaking?”  Richard Addison walks past her into the room.

Cut to: Parlor of the Two-Bedroom Suite. 

It is covered with books and folders and boxes of papers.  There are two open briefcases on the table by the window and a breakfast tray that has two half eaten orders of eggs.

“What the hell are you doing here?”  She slams the door.

“This is nice … really nice.  First class.”  He flops down on the couch brushing a stack of folders onto the floor.  “You alone?”  He nods to the obvious evidence that she is NOT alone. 

“What do you want Richard?”

He picks up a slice of toast and takes a bite and drops it back on the tray.  “If you returned my calls, you would know.”

“Money?  I told you that I am not footing the bill for –“

“I don’t want your money, Ames.  I want ---.”

“I don’t have time for this.”  She cuts him off and hurriedly collects some of the folders and papers that she has been reading.  “I am working here, Richard.” 

“That’s what it looks like….”

“You ought to try it.”

“ … to the untrained eye.”

“Go to hell, Richie.”

“Been there.”

“I have to be in court in an hour.  I am not going through another one of these banter sessions with you.”

“Banter?  Do we banter?  I don’t think we banter.  David and Maddie banter.  They are the king and queen of banter.  I don’t think we are even in the same league.”

“Not even the same ball park.  You are not your brother and I sure as hell am no Maddie Hayes.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I am not – forget it.  Just go.”  She walks to the door and opens it, inviting him to leave.

“So, when are you coming home?”

She slams the door, and goes into the bedroom to get her suit coat and shoes.

“Are you ever coming home?”  He continues.

She is putting on the last of her understated make up.   “Gerald will be back in 5 minutes, I can’t have you here when he gets here.”

“Don’t want your lover to meet your husband?”

“Husband?”  She throws the lipstick down and reenters the parlor.  “HUSBAND?  Ha.  Since when?”

“Since the day we got married.  Since the day I put those ri --.” He sits up.  He notices that she is not wearing her wedding rings.

“The worst day of my life.”  She states with a cold hardness that Richard has come to know well over the last few months.  She has not spoken a civil word to him since she left for New York just after Thanksgiving.  He really thought that she would not use that tone when they were face to face. 

“The worst day of both our lives.”  She repeats.  “The biggest mistake – my mother was right.”  She looks away; then under her breath she mumbles, “I can’t tell you how much I HATE to admit that.”

Richie cannot hide his hurt behind bravado; he was never as good as David at hiding his feelings.  “How can you say that?”

“Look Richard, we both know it was a mistake.”  She picks up the folders from the floor and stuffs them into her briefcase.

“I don’t know that.”  He stands up to plead his case.

“Then you’re an idiot.”  Richie looks very hurt and it softens her ice-cold heart … by a half a degree.  “Richie, I am an adult and you … you’re a child.  I don’t want to be married to a child.  I don’t … I want … I can’t … just go.”

“Before your lover gets back?”  This is Richie’s last-ditch effort to keep his dignity.

“If you need to convince yourself that our marriage failed NOT because you are a no-account, lazy, pie-in-the-sky LOSER and that I have taken a lover … FINE.  I don’t care.  Hell, start divorce proceedings because I am an adulterer.  I’ll sign them.  Anything to get the hell out of this … this … this episode of THE HONEYMOONERS.”

“You want a divorce?”

“Of course I want a divorce.  You should too.”  Richie is stunned.  “Don’t take it so hard, Richard.  You can be proud of the fact that you have single handedly cured me of marriage and men --- ALL men … for the rest of my natural life.” 

Richard Addison is for once … speechless.

“If you can’t afford to file, I’ll do it when this case is over.”

She is stuffing files into her briefcase when the door opens and in walks Gerald Mahoney.  He looks like he just stepped off the cover of GQ.  He is unphased as he notices Richie standing in the middle of the room, almost as if he expected him and proceeds to the table to collect his files.



“We have to go, Ames.”  Gerald states.  Richie is crushed by Mahoney’s use of HIS nickname for her.  “The judge has called us to chambers before the witnesses get there.

“Why?”  Her attention is totally focused on Gerald, Richie and her anger at his being there completely forgotten.

“Don’t know … something to do with the disclosure.  The other side made a HUGE mistake.”

“Is that it?  Will he throw out the case?”

“No, just delay us again for a week or two.”

“Perfect … we could use the time.”

They walk out of the room talking and close the door behind them.  Richard Addison is the furthest thought from either of their minds.

Richie stands there for a moment fighting back the urge to do something childish and rotten like toss the room or steal everything from the mini-bar or write graffiti on the mirror with Amy’s lipstick.  He walks out, defeated.

Cut to the street 

Richard emerges from the revolving doors.  The biting cold has no effect on him this time.  The doorman hands him his duffel. Richie takes it without a thought or a tip. 

“You want a cab?”  The doorman calls after him.

Richie ignores him and walks down the street oblivious to the cold and the hoards of people that now hustle and bustle about him.  A cab drives by him splashing icy slushy water up onto his pant leg as it pulls up in front of the Waldorf.  Richie keeps walking.

The doorman opens the door of the cab.  Out steps Maddie Hayes.  She is the epitome of New York class.  She is dressed in black pants, sweater, gloves and low boots and drowning in fur.  Agnes DiPesto, soon to be Agnes DiPesto Viola, crawls out of the cab behind her.  She is not quite so stylish, but she is warm with her oversized quilted coat, big mittens and hand knitted hat with matching scarf that her grandmother made for her 35 years ago.

“Miss Hayes is that Mr. Addison’s brother?”

“What would Richie be doing in New York?”  Maddie turns her attention to the doorman.  “I have a reservation.  Hayes, Madolyn Hayes.”  She hands him a folded bill to insure that the luggage arrives in their room.  “Come on Agnes, let’s check in, have a quick breakfast and hit the shops.  We have three days to shop until we drop:  wedding dress, veil, trousseau. … this is going to be fun.  So where do you think Bert is taking you on a honeymoon?”

Maddie wraps her arm around Agnes and leads her into the hotel.   Agnes does not look as thrilled about the shopping and dropping plan.

Late Friday Afternoon - David Addison’s office – Los Angeles

We focus on the coffee table, which has been dragged into the middle of the room.  It is empty, save for a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap, sitting upside down on the surface, and playing cards which litter the area around the hat, as well as the floor surrounding the table.

As we watch, cards fly through the air towards the hat.  Two miss, but the third drops neatly into the hat.  We hear a familiar voice.

“Yahoo!  And the fans go wild as Addison again becomes the undefeated champion!”

Our viewpoint widens, to show us Bert Viola sitting glumly on the sofa, as David Addison bounces up and down on top of it.  He leaps to the floor and surveys the challenger.

“Bert, you are a worthy opponent, but I have to remind you that you now owe me $28,000.  I’m flexible – cash or check?  You do have proper ID, I assume?”

“Guess you’d better take that out of my pay, sir.  How about a dollar a week for 28,000 weeks?”

David grins broadly at the sad expression on Bert’s face.

“Don’t be a sore loser now, Bert, my man.  I wouldn’t take your money.  You’ve got bigger fish to fry.  You’ll soon have a wife to support.  Be needing every penny.”

Bert looks up at him.

“Yeah, I guess.”

David seems puzzled.

“What’s with you today, Viola?  Somebody sink your battleship?”

“It’s awful quiet around here, don’t you think, sir?”

“Quiet?  Yeah, maybe.  But it’s Friday afternoon, almost quitting time, and a glorious free weekend looms ahead. No commitments, no appointments……..”

“No Agnes.”

“She didn’t join the French Foreign Legion, pal.  They’ve just gone to New York to do the wedding thing.”

“I don’t understand why they couldn’t just find a wedding dress here.”

David looks dumbfounded.

“Viola, tell me this dragged dog mood of yours has to do with the fact that Agnes and Maddie are in New York for the weekend.”

Bert nods miserably.

“Hey man, snap out of it.  Look at this as an opportunity….a time to recharge your battery… ’guy stuff’.  Don’t you have plans for the weekend?”

Bert shakes his head.

“Do you?”

“What, are you kidding?  I started putting this weekend together as soon as Maddie told me they were going to be out of town.  Poker with the guys, dinner with Rich on Saturday night, staying in bed late on Sunday morning ….”

He looks at Bert with a wicked expression.

“Well, SLEEPING on Sunday morning might be more literal.  Why, what were you gonna do this weekend?”

“Like I said, no plans.”

“Bert, that’s just wrong.  This is a NO female weekend.  No jobs to do, no errands to run.  Hell, even if you sit with your feet on the coffee table all weekend and watch a monster truck rally, ya gotta do something “male’.  You owe it to MANkind --  to raise a little hell……..have some fun.”

“Agnes is fun.”

“I’m sure she is a regular laugh riot, buddy, but what have you done for Bert lately?”

“I don’t know, sir.  It just seems like, since Agnes and I moved in together, we do most things together.  Isn’t that the same with you and Miss Hayes?”

“Let me break this to you gently, Bert.  Hell, no!  Don’t get me wrong, sure, we do lots of things together.  But MOST things – uh uh!”

Bert looks confused that David seems so emphatic.

“Why not, sir?”

David starts to chuckle.

“Hey Bert, where have you been for the last eight years?”

“Well, I didn’t start here until season three –“

David interrupts.

“Still!  Miss Hayes and I…..Lady and the Tramp – you’ve gotta know that our interests are…shall we say, diverse?”

“But you live together.”

“So?  We’re not Siamese twins.”

David can see that he is not getting through to Bert.

“Look, here’s an example – she wouldn’t be caught dead in a bowling alley….you couldn’t get me within ten feet of an art gallery.”

“So how does that work?”

“Maddie goes to the openings with a friend, and I bowl every Thursday night.  And we don’t force each other into things that would make us miserable….at least when we can avoid it.”

Burt sighs.

“But you seem so together.”

“That’s the point…that’s what happens when the ‘together’ part happens for all the right reasons.”

Bert muses.

“Most of the time I enjoy being with Agnes…..”

“And that, my friend, is why they make Corona and Dos Equis.  Whatever works for you.”

Bert speaks, as if he were talking to himself.

“There ARE some things, sometimes that I think Agnes might do on her own.  I really hate going to her garden club.”

“Garden club?  You’re kidding, right?”

Bert shakes his head.

“I’m warning you, Bert.  I’m not trying to start trouble, but get a hobby, man.  Find something of your own – or the next forty years of ‘till death do us part’ is really gonna kill you.”

“Have you got any suggestions, Mr. Addison?”

David tries to wriggle out of this.

“Why don’t you talk to the guys?  I bet Jergenson, O’Neill, hell, even Magillicuddy might have some things going on this weekend.”

Bert growls.


David glibly goes on.

“Any one of them might let you tag along with them.”

“And what were your plans for this weekend again, sir?”

They are interrupted by a knock on the door.

David bellows, “Come in”…….and whispers under his breath, “Saved by the bang.”

Jamie enters the door.

“Mr. Addison, there is a man here to see you.”

David looks at his watch, shaking his head.

“Quarter to five.  Almost made it.  Why not?  Bring him in, Jamie.”

He looks pointedly at Bert, who remains seated on the sofa.  He squirms a bit under David’s scrutiny, and then speaks.

“You don’t mind if I run backup on this one for you, Mr. A…  Miss Hayes being out of town and all?”

David walks to his desk, and slumps into the chair.

“Sure…..fine…..what the hell.”

The door opens to admit a gentleman in his mid-thirties, dressed in a business suit.

Bert quickly approaches the door, extending his hand.

“Good afternoon, I am Bert Viola –“

David clears his throat, and Bert goes on.

“And this is my boss, Mr. Addison.”

David extends his hand, and the man shakes it.

“Sheffield…..Stephen Sheffield.  Pleased to meet you.”

“Please have a seat, Mr. Sheffield.  How can we help you?”

Mr. Sheffield answers, hesitatingly.

“I…I don’t know.  I never pictured myself talking to a private detective.  Thought that was something only people in the movies did.  But I don’t know how else to resolve this.  It’s such a strange situation.”

David tries to put him at ease.

“We’re running a special on strange situations this week at Blue Moon.  Why don’t you just tell us why you’re here?”

“To make a long story short, somebody has stolen from Paradise Found.”

David and Bert exchange looks.  Bert comments.

“Paradise Found.  That sounds like a…….”

David adroitly interrupts.

“A travel agency.  Isn’t that right, Mr. Sheffield, a travel agency?”


David smiles.

“I’m familiar with your billboards.  I’m especially fond of the redhead in the blue bikini.”

“We get lots of comments on that.  Brings in plenty of clients.”

“I can see why.  Tell us about your situation.”

“Paradise Found is a family business, established by my father, and left to my brother, Ted and I.  Actually, my brother runs the business, and I take orders.  I’m considered the less competent brother.”

He sighs.

“Oh well, that has nothing to do with anything, I guess.  On Wednesday afternoon, I got the final documents for a round the world cruise I had arranged for one of our clients.  It was a great booking – over $12,000, and a big commission for the agency.  I was really happy…so happy, I guess I got a little careless.  I went to lunch and left the tickets on my desk.  When I came back from lunch, the tickets were gone.”

Bert questions.

“Forgive me, Mr. Sheffield, I don’t know much about the travel business, but wouldn’t it be a simple thing to just void the tickets, and have them reissued?  Don’t people lose tickets all the time?”

“Normally, it would be that easy.  But I didn’t report the tickets lost…thought I had just misplaced them.  By the time I called the cruise line this afternoon, they informed me that the tickets had already been turned in, that an agency representative had turned in the tickets for cash!”

David looks at him quizzically.

“How could that happen?  The only other agency representative is… you think it’s your brother?”

Mr. Sheffield hurries to answer.

“No, not my brother, but I do think I know who it could be.  My brother has a friend by the name of Ernie Griffin.  Seems to have a lot of time on his hands, hangs around the agency.  He always seems to be around when things disappear.”

“This isn’t the first time things have disappeared?”

“No, we’ve been missing small amounts of money from the cash box before.  Never anything of this magnitude.  I’ve told Ted that the guy is suspicious.  He just laughs at me.  I think Ted actually thinks I’m taking the money from the cash box, and he doesn’t want to make a fuss about it.”

“And this Griffin guy was there when the tickets went missing?”

“He sure was.  And I’d like you to prove that he is the guy who took them.  I’ve brought you this photograph of Griffin.  I’m sure the cruise line people will identify him as the man who received the money.”

“Why a detective agency, Mr. Sheffield?  Couldn’t you just go to the cruise agency yourself?”

“Mr. Addison, my brother would never believe me in a million years.  He’d just think it was a harebrained scheme to cover up my carelessness, or my dishonesty…although I have never given him any cause to suspect me.  I need an impartial third party to help solve this, and recover the agency’s money.”

David stares silently for a moment, thinking.  He appears to make a decision, and begins to speak.

“Mr. Sheffield, I think that –“

Bert interrupts.

“Mr. Addison, may I speak to you outside for a moment?”

David’s nostrils flare.

“Excuse us please, Mr. Sheffield.  We’ll be just a very short moment, I guarantee.”

David and Bert exit the room, David immediately wheeling around to face Bert.

“What’s this about, Viola?”

“I thought we should discuss taking the case.”

“You need to grow about six inches taller, and trade that outfit in for a blonde wig and a silk dress before I’ll consider discussing whether or not this agency takes a case with YOU.”

“Just thought you might like another viewpoint before you turn it down.”

“And how do you know I was going to turn it down?”


“Think you’ve got the woman’s intuition too?”

“I know you have plans for the weekend, and that you really don’t want to get involved in this case.  But it seems like a really easy case, with a reasonable client.  Definitely the kind of case that Miss Hayes would want us to take.”

David stares at him for a moment.

“You’ve got to be right, huh?  I hate when that happens.  I can practically feel her yanking my chain from 3,000 miles away.  OK, we’ll take the case.”

Bert smiles with delight, and holds open the door for David as he speaks.

“Guess I have plans for the weekend now, huh, sir?”

Freeze frame on David’s face as he glares at Bert.

Evening – Hayes/DiPesto Room at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York City

A room service tray with two dirty dishes is in the middle of the room.  On the floor are bags from Macy’s, Tiffany, Elizabeth Arden, and Prada.  Agnes is lying on the bed, exhausted.  Next to her is her prize purchase for the day:  a pair of bright white high-tops with a little heel.  The laces are metallic blue and silver and there are bells (not jingle bells but actual silver bells) sewn into the tongue.  Maddie enters talking from the bathroom.

“What a day!  Wasn’t that fun?”

“Yes Miss Hayes.”  Agnes mumbles.  “I guess I am a little jet lagged.”

“Tomorrow we’ll do Saks and Bergdorf Goodman.  There is also a new designer, Vera Wang.  She specializes in wedding dresses.  I got her name from Christian.”

“I remember.”

“I thought Christian had some wonderful ideas about what to do with the back yard.”

“Do you think doves will be a bit much?”

“Not at all.  But it’s whatever you want Agnes; this is your day.  I thought the invitations were beautiful.”

“I am not sure that Bert and I know two hundred and fifty people.”

“They are cheaper that way.  You don’t have to use them all.  A Spring wedding in my back yard, how lovely.  I need to call the gardener … and we will need a tent on standby in case it rains.  Have you thought about flowers?”

“I like daisies.”

“Daisies?  No … something more vibrant … it will be spring … what about daffodils and irises … or lilies … great big Casablanca lilies … but Christian’s idea of orchids deserves some consideration.” Maddie sits down at the desk to make a list.  “And music.  Did you want a live band or just a string quartet?”

“String quartet?”

“What about the food?  Christian’s idea of the ice carving was genius.”

“A blue moon?”

“After all you two did meet under a lucky … moon.”

“Yes.”  Agnes smiles thinking about Bert.  She looks over to the nightstand by the bed and touches the picture of Bert she has there.  “It seems like a lot of work for you –“

“Don’t be silly.  I am not doing anything.  Just making a few phone calls.”

“It is sounding a little expensive too.”

“Don’t worry Agnes, Mr. Addison and I will help out.  Let it be our wedding present to you both.”

“That is very generous.”

“A woman only has one wedding, well one first wedding.  You should have everything exactly the way you want it to be.”

“Sometimes it doesn’t seem real … Bert and me getting married … And other times I think ‘what’s the big deal?’  We have been living together for years.”

“But this is your wedding Agnes.  It’s your day.  It should be special.  Now for food …”

“I think Bert wanted Mexican.”

“… smoked salmon, caviar and those canapé things.  I know the perfect place.  They make a pate to die for.”


“It is whatever you want, Agnes this is your day.”

Act 2 - Saturday

Morning – Addison Kitchen, Philadelphia, PA

Stephanie is talking with the old friend of the family, DeeDee DeMarco. 

“You’ll have to thank Pete for us again, DeeDee.”

“Yeah, my Officer Pete.  Who’d have thought that I would be dating one of Philadelphia’s finest?”

“He’s a good man.”

“The best.  I hope I can hang on to him. … So Richie … ” Dee Dee asks,  “You had no idea he was coming east?”

“None.  We thought he was in California.  I know that Amy is working on a case in New York, but …”

“Did you call Dave?”

“I called this morning, but there was no answer.”

“And how is Richie this morning?”

“Hung over … really hung over.  He has been in the bathroom all morning.  I don’t even want to know what happened in there. I left him some of David’s clothes but nothing yet. Where did Pete find him again?”

“He was in Rittenhouse Square in a major debate with the Duck Girl.  Pete says that he didn’t even recognize him until he started singing that stupid song he always sang.  How does that go again…?”

“No, please not again.  He was singing it last night when he got here.”

“What does Mr. Addison think?”

“It must have something to do with Amy.  We know that it has not been great, but if you listen to Richie things have never been better.  Well that was before last night.”

David Addison Sr. blusters in through the double doors fighting off the wind and snow.  He is carrying two bags of McDonald’s in his hands and another from grocery store down the street.  He stamps his feet to knock off the caked on snow and slips his boots off before he enters the kitchen. 

“Hi, DeeDee.”

“Hi Mr. Addison.”

“DeeDee, you can call me Dave.”

“OK, Mr. Addison.” 

“Thank Pete for us again will you.”

“I will.”  Looking back at Stephanie.  “I should be going.  Let me know if I can do anything, the holidays and inventory are over and I am back to my normal schedule.”

“Thanks DeeDee.”

She grabs her coat and heads out the back door.

“Has he said anything?”  David Sr. asks.

“No … not really.  Apologized once or twice.  I left him some coffee and now he is looking for something in the closet.”

David Sr. looks toward the upstairs.  He shakes his head.  “Sorry it took so long.” 

“That is not the answer, dear.”

“I think I know how to deal with my son and I definitely know how to deal with a hangover.”  He says more snappishly than he intended.  “I’m sorry.”  He sits down at the table next to her.  “I’m sorry.  I am really out of my league here.”

“I can see that.”

“They never came to me for advice on women.  Heck, they never really came to me at all.  And Richie … their mother handled stuff like this … well that is not true either, she was gone by then.  I don’t know what I am supposed to do.”

“I know.  But one thing is for sure he is not eleven years old anymore.  Oreos, chocolate milk and Egg McMuffins will not fix this.”

“I don’t know what else to do.”  He pushes the bags away from him.  “What about David?  Should we call him?”

“I left a message for him.  He has not called back yet. … Can I try?”

“To talk to Richie?”  He reaches out to take her hand.  “I didn’t want to ask … would you?”

Stephanie smiles and presses her husband’s hand quickly.  She grabs the McDonald’s bag and gets up to head upstairs.

“I love you Steph.”

“I know.”

“Hey.”  He stops her.  “You better take these too … just in case.”  He pulls the Oreos and a carton of chocolate milk out of the bag and hands them to her.

“I thought women were the only ones to drown themselves in chocolate in times of crisis.”  She smiles and goes upstairs.

Cut to the bedroom. 

Richie is sitting on the floor leafing through a photo album.  He is dressed in a pair of his father’s sweats and has a towel around his neck.  His hair is still wet and slicked back.  He looks fresh and clean, like a son home for a visit.  No crisis at all.  He doesn’t look up when Stephanie enters, he just starts talking as if they were in the middle of a conversation.  If he is hung over, it is well hidden.  She hands him the McDonald’s bag.

“Has Dad ever taken you to O’Hanahan’s cabin in the Poconos?”  He pulls the Egg McMuffin out and neatly swallows it in two bites.

“Yes, we went last summer and right after we got married.  It was very nice.”  She sits down next to him on the floor.

“I loved that cabin.  We spent a summer up there once; it was the best … David and I would sneak over to the Wiswold’s house in the middle of the night and scare Kathy and … what was her name?  Mona?  Marcia?  Maggie … Maggie.  We’d pretend like we were bears or the boogey man.  That was fun.  Mrs. Wiswold would get real mad and call Mom – Dad was in the city during the week.  Mom would come --” 

He stops and looks at Stephanie thinking he might have hurt her feelings.  She smiles to let him know everything is OK.

“So you liked to scare the girls, huh?”


“And your Mom … what did she do?”

“She tried to get mad.  She tried to punish us.”


“Yeah, David would always make her laugh and she couldn’t follow through with any of her grounding threats – but we must have cleaned out the garage three times.  Then of course we had to apologize to the Wiswolds.  Kathy and Maggie both had a thing for David so they were never really mad.”

“Just David?”

“Yeah, he always got the girls.”

“Really.  That is not how your Dad tells it.”

“I guess I got my share.”  Richie smiles a little.  “I think Maggie liked me better than David.”

Richie turns the page.

“Who are these two?”  Stephanie points to a picture of two young people standing in front of the monkey cage.

“That is Kelly McIntire and me at the zoo.  She was my lab partner in tenth grade biology.  This was a field trip.”

“She seems to like you.”

“I guess.”

There is a long silence with Richie staring at the space between the pictures.

“Tell me what is going on with Amy, Rich?”

Another long silence.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know that there is anything to say.”

“What does that mean?”

Richie swallows hard.  “She says that marrying me was a mistake.”

Stephanie gets a very sad look on her face.  “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah … well … what’re you gonna do? 

“Drinking your weight in alcohol seems to be one wrong answer.”

He laughs in agreement.  “You’ll need more aspirin.”

“Thank God it was Peter Wysinsky that found you and brought you home.”

“Who knew he would turn out to be such a cool cop?  I guess I never should have pushed him around in dodge-ball.”  

“What about Amy?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I knew she was too good for me.”

“Do you really think that?”

“Yeah – I mean look at her.  She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth … Me?  One of those plastic sporks from Kentucky Fried.”


“Yeah … that combination spoon and fork … so you can eat the cole slaw and still grab the chicken.”

“Oh.  Never knew that they had a name.”

“I knew it wasn’t going to last.”

“That is entirely up to you.”

“No … pretty much I have nothing to do with it.  She has made up her mind.”

“She also made up her mind to marry you.”

“Yeah … well … So what?”   

“She must have done that for a reason.”

“To piss her mother off.”

“You can’t think of another reason?”

“We had fun.  We played together.  I made her laugh.  She was my Ames and I was her Richie Bear.”

“What did you do that was fun? … the PG version.”  Stephanie quickly adds.

“No … it wasn’t like that.  I mean it WAS like that but that was not the best part.  It was good … it was great … from what I can remember… but not the best part.”

“What was the best part?”

“We used to do silly stuff.  We would walk along the water ...”

“You met in October, didn’t you?”

“Yeah … it was cold.  We would make up stories of the people we were passing.  You know give them a history and a future.  We would share a hot dog.  We’d start at opposite ends and kiss in the middle.  Go to movies. We would spend hours talking about … about … about nothing at all.  It was all so simple.” 

Richie pauses for a moment and rips into the bag of Oreos. 

“Like this … we would do the research on the best way to eat an Oreo.  Twisting vs. dunking vs. … it doesn’t matter … it was silly stuff.  She doesn’t know how to have fun anymore.  All she wants to do is work.”

“She didn’t work before?”

“Yeah – she always worked a lot. But she was working for some Save the Spotted Owl group … or the New Jersey shoreline.  She always seemed to find a half an hour or an hour just to be with me anytime.  Now I need an appointment and an agenda in writing before she will see me.  Before … well before … She was more … I don’t know I guess she was happier.”

“Because she was doing something socially minded? Rewarding?”

“Well I’m sure working in ENTERTAINMENT LAW making sure those damn overpaid, over pampered, over privileged actors get that 90% of the pie has its rewards.”  

“Why did she leave the other job?”

“Had to and of course her Mom wore her down.  She never approved of her work or her choice of husband.  She wanted Amy to join her firm.”

“And Amy didn’t want to.”

“She didn’t like what it did to her mother.  She was cold and calculating and harsh … kind of like how Amy is now … only –“

“Only what?”

“It took Amy less than a year to turn into her Mom and it took the Mom close to twenty.”

“So she changed?  You didn’t.”

“Well … I guess.  I suppose I had to.  I have so much free time in LA.”

“You didn’t here?”

“I had someplace to be ever day and friends and … you know stuff.  I haven’t really found my niche out there.”

“Where did you work here?”

“All over.  You know me Steph, never want to let the moss grow under my feet.”

“Actually you had a pretty good job back here if I remember correctly before you moved west.  You had been there for almost … what two - three years?”

“It was alright.  I sold office supplies.  I was pretty good at it too … at least that is what the boss said.”

“It was copiers and printers and office machines wasn’t it?”

“Yeah, so … there were tons of boxes of pencils and highlighters too.”

“Did you like doing that kind of work?”

“I liked the people.  I liked traveling around and talking to everyone.  I liked making my own hours.”

“So you both had jobs that you liked and you were happy … why did you move west?”

“Like I said.  We had to.  The agency that she was working for ran out of money.  It folded and so she was out of work.  Her mom …”

“What about her?”

“She was constantly on Amy about how she was wasting her talent … wasting her life.  When she lost her job, I knew that she had to get away from that witch.  She was making Amy miserable.  I suggested that we go to LA, thinking 3000 miles would put a damper on that.  She refused at first, but then her Mom found a job for her in LA – Entertainment law.  It sounded like fun … entertaining … glamorous … and a compromise to keep her mother off her back.  We figured we would kill two birds with one stone.  Well we killed both birds alright.”

“What happened?”

“THAT TOWN … that town happened to us… that sunny California QT life is what killed us.  It’s PLASTIC.  Everything is fake and phony.  It is all about appearances.  The right car.  The right clothes.  The right haircut.  The right job.  The right husband.  She turned into the plastic fantastic L.A. woman … pretty near overnight.”

“And you?”

“Me?  I’m a Philly boy through and through.  I got cheesesteaks flowing through my veins.  Nothing is going to change that.”

“When did you talk to her last?”

“I went to New York yesterday to see her and ask her to come home.”

“Home to Philadelphia or Los Angeles.”

“I didn’t care.”

“Did she know you were coming?”

“I tried to call, but she would never answer the phone and never returned my messages.”

“So what happened?”

“She had nothing to say to me … well nothing nice.  She told me to get out and to file for a divorce because she was too busy.”

“Oh honey, I’m sorry.”

“Oh well … there you go.  Yet another Richard Addison fiasco.  Can’t make an opportunity work and can’t make a marriage work.  David is right, I’m a loser.”

“I don’t think your brother called you a loser.”


“I don’t believe that.”

They sit in silence for a moment.

“So are you going to file for divorce?”

“I guess I have to.”

“No you don’t.”

“That’s what she wants.”

“Is that what you want?”


“So why don’t you try to talk to her again?”

“I’d need an appointment and an agenda.”

“You know Rich, showing up at her hotel room unannounced was probably not the best approach.”

“I got that.”

“So try again.  Call her and ask to see her tomorrow.”

“She won’t feel any differently tomorrow than she did yesterday.”

“So you are ready to give up on your marriage?  You are ready to just let is go?  Let it fail?  Move on?”

Richie looked at Stephanie for a long moment.

“I’d need an agenda.” 


“I don’t know what an agenda is.”

They laugh.

Saturday – Fifth Avenue Shopping District, New York City, New York

Agnes and Maddie look for a wedding dress.

Saturday morning - Bert Viola’s Tempo, Los Angeles

David slumps in the passenger seat, yawning.  Bert is wide-awake and grinning ear to ear – definitely a morning person.  He whistles along with the Top 40 radio station.

David cracks open one eye, and gives Bert the most evil one-eyed glare imaginable.  Bert is oblivious, and whistles on, until David emits a loud groan.

Bert looks over and chuckles.

“So, Mr. Addison, rough night last night?”

David mumbles something under his breath.  Bert continues.

“So, how come you wanted me to drive today, sir?  Lost your car in the poker game?”

He laughs at his own wit, and David responds in a raspy morning voice.


“Don’t tell me.  It’s in………”

“It’s in the shop.  On the way to the poker game last night, the whole exhaust system fell out.  More heavy metal than Sunset has ever seen before.”

“Man, you are having bad luck with that car.”

David gives him a sarcastic look, and responds with a like tone.

“You’re kidding, right?  I never even made it to the poker game.  By the time I made all the arrangements with the mechanic, and had it towed, I would have been about ten hands and a six-pack behind.  

“Well, at least somebody’s getting lucky.  Your mechanic’s on his way to his first million.”

David bristles defensively.

“It’s a classic car.  You’ve gotta expect it will need at least some work.”

“Some work all right…….you oughta make a deal.  Do mechanics work on retainer?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the jokes.  And listen, Viola, this is something between you and I.  There is no need to let Maddie know the car’s in the shop again.”

“So this is one of those “not sharing” things?”

“Most definitely – I think the world will still turn without a few more ‘I told you sos’.”

“Sure thing, sir.  Mum’s the word.”

David casts his eyes heavenwards.

“You heard that, right big guy?”

He turns back to Bert.

“Listen Bert, wake me up when we get to the cruise line office, OK?”

David slumps down in the seat, and rests his head against the window.  Bert drives on, until a change in the music prompts him to sing.

“When a man loves a woman,
 Can’t keep his mind on nothing else.
 He’d trade the world
 For a good thing he’s found.”

David sits bolt upright in the seat, reaches over and emphatically clicks off the radio.

“For Pete’s sake, Viola, my ears are bleeding.  Michael Bolton – Jeez!  Kill me now, drive me right into that brick wall over there.”

“OK Mr. Addison, OK.  Boy, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning…….or on both sides of the bed.  I bet that’s the problem.”

David does a fast burn.

“Are you playing Sigmund Freud again, Bert?  Let me clue you in – you’ve got too little beard, too little  height, and too little – well, you get the picture.  I had a crappy night last night, slept lousy, and I’m riding around with a tone-deaf lunatic imitating a pony-tailed male diva.  On top of that, I’m probably looking at another repair bill that’ll run me at least five C notes.  Give me one good reason why I should be Mary freakin’ Sunshine?”

“OK sir, OK.  Just tell me what you want me to do.”

“Just drive.  And limit all conversation to responses – preferably monosyllabic responses.”

“You got it, sir.”

They drive several blocks in silence.  Bert pulls the car up in front of a building with a sign that reads ‘Sun Cruises’.

David unhooks his seatbelt, whips off his sunglasses, and looks over at Bert.

“I got this one, sport.  Why don’t you just chill here?  Turn the radio back on – I think they’re doing a tribute to Barry Manilow that you might enjoy.”

David strides towards the building as Bert watches.  He shrugs, flips the radio back on, and immediately starts to sing.

“Her name was Lola…she was a showgirl…….”

Fifteen minutes later

David exits the building, and reenters the car.  Bert quickly turns off the radio.

“So what did you find out, Mr. Addison?”

“Start driving, Bertie boy.  I’ll fill you in on the way over.”

“Over to where?”

“Paradise Found.  We’re gonna need to have another conversation with Mr. Sheffield….use another strategy.”

“What happened in there?  Didn’t anybody recognize the picture?”

“Nope.  In fact, the thief either has an accomplice, or just thinks he looks better in chiffon.”

“It was a woman who cashed in the tickets?”

“Very quick, Bert.  You’re gonna make a helluva half of a detective someday.  The thing is, she presented Ted Sheffield’s business card as authorization to get the money.”

“The brother, huh?  You think he’s in on it?”

“That’s what we are going to find out.”

“How are we going to do that?”

David looks over at him, shaking his head.

“We’re gonna do what we get paid to do – sleuth, detect, investigate.  We’re going undercover.  Here’s the deal.  I gave Stephen Sheffield a call from the cruise line office and………….

Fade out………… Fade back in:

Paradise Found Travel Agency

David and Bert enter the travel agency.  There are three men present, Stephen Sheffield, and two others – one behind a desk, one lounging in a chair in front of it. The Sheffield brothers are dressed similarly – professionally in business suits.  The other man presents quite a different look.  He is a portly man, who wears a shiny blue running suit, which has definitely not seen much running in its lifetime.

Stephen Sheffield rises and walks towards David and Bert.  He acts as if he has never seen them before.

“Good afternoon gentlemen.  Looking for adventure?”

David laughs, a loud and long exaggerated laugh.  He jerks his thumb in Bert’s direction.

“That’s rich…….. he don’t need any more adventure.  He’s in for it.  He’s getting married.”

“Congratulations, Mr………?”

David quickly jumps in.

“Johnson.  In fact, Johnson and Johnson.  I’m Dave, he’s Bert.”

They shake hands all around.

“Pleasure to meet you.  Are you brothers?”

David cackles the laugh again.

“You would think so, noting the family resemblance, wouldn’t you?  Nah, cousins.  Our mothers are sisters.  But his father is a midget.”

“He prefers little person.”

“Yeah, that’s right, little person.”

Stephen looks around as if he has just remembered the other occupants of the office.

“I’m sorry.  I’d like you to meet my brother Ted, and his friend, Ernie Griffin.”

Hands are shaken and pleasantries exchanged.

“Are you guys in the travel business also?”

“My brother and I are partners in the business.  But Ernie……..”

Ernie interrupts, laughing.

“I’m Ted’s ne’er-do-well friend – sitting around waiting for opportunity to knock.”

“Well, I guess this is as good a place as any to wait.”

Ted and Ernie retreat to the other side of the room as Stephen steers the conversation back to business.

“Well, gentlemen, what brings you to Paradise Found?”

Bert smiles eagerly.

“We want to book a honeymoon cruise.”

“Very nice.  A cruise for the bride and groom.”

David responds eagerly

“Heck no, for the whole bridal party.  Some helluva party, huh?”

“My wedding is scheduled for the week of Valentine’s Day.  Dave here came up with the idea of taking the whole bridal party on the honeymoon.  I’m still not sure…”

“Steve, would you tell him?  It’ll be a blast.  And he’ll still have plenty of time to, shall we say… lay pipe.”

“Nice, Dave.  Very classy.”

David laughs

“I don’t need to be classy, pal.  I’m the guy with the moolah.”

He tosses a bulging envelope on the desk.

“That’s ten thousand smackers, Sheffield.  Guess the title ‘best man’ is well deserved.  Let’s see what we can come up with for this little floating trip to Shangri La.”

Ted has walked into a room in the rear, but David notices that Ernie Griffin is paying careful attention to the conversation.  He leans over to Bert and pokes him with his elbow.

“Yo cuz, you were supposed to remind me to put money in the meter.  You know how excited one of these flatfoots would be if they got a chance to have a Porsche 911 towed off to the impound.  He’d live on that story for the rest of his pathetic, beat walking life.”

He heads towards the door.

“You two just go on…..I’ll be back in a flash.”

As he exits, Bert turns back to Stephen, then slides his eyes over towards Ernie.

“You’ve got to excuse my cousin.  He’s really a good guy….just a little bit – overbearing.”

Stephen smiles.

“Well, Mr. Johnson, it’s your honeymoon.  Let’s see if we can find a cruise and a destination that you really like.  I’ve got a really nice cruise, on Princess Cruises, the week of Valentine’s Day.”

“Princess – like the Love Boat, huh?”

“The very same…..this cruise is seven days and stops in Puerto Vallerta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.  There are also four days at sea, two on the way and two coming back.” 

The telephone on Stephen’s desk rings.

“Excuse me.  Paradise Found.  Oh right, Mr. Raymond………. Not till tomorrow?……….  Well, I guess if that is the soonest you can get here…………….. No, I guess it won’t be a problem for one night………………… OK, thanks, we’ll see you in the morning.”

He hangs up the phone and smiles apologetically.

“Sorry, all the little details….”

He calls out.


Ted Sheffield sticks his head out from the other room.

“That was Raymond from the alarm company.  He can’t get here to fix the burglar alarm until tomorrow morning.  I’m a little concerned.”

Ted sneers at his brother, his disdain evident on his face.

“Steve, it’s no big deal.  You are paranoid about that alarm.  I’m sure it will be just fine for one night.  Chill out, for Pete’s sake.”

Stephen turns to Bert.

“Sorry, guess I am the worrier of the family.  So what do you think about Mexico?”

David has entered the front door and overheard the last few words.

“Mexico……….beautiful beaches, beautiful senoritas, water sports…..and the night life – dancing.”

He starts to sing and dance.

“La cucaracha, La cucaracha……da da da da da da da……….”

Bert and Stephen watch silently, as David finishes his show.  He turns to Bert.

“So whaddya think, Bert?  Sounds like a blast to me.  I bet Agnes would love it.”

“I guess it sounds fine.”

Stephen smiles.

“I think it would be a great choice.  Let’s talk about some details.”

David jumps in.

“No details today, Steve.  Gotta make a lunch meeting.  Just go ahead and book it…..a suite for the bride and groom, and five more deluxe rooms……..eleven of us all together.  We’ll come back on Monday and firm up all the details.  You’ve got my deposit.”

Stephen responds.

“Well sure…………I guess we can iron out all the particulars on Monday.  I’ll go right ahead and book everything.  Are you sure, Mr. Johnson, you don’t want to do the wedding on the ship?”

Bert, looking a bit shell shocked, answers.

“No, we’ve got the wedding booked, and all the guests invited on the Saturday before.  The cruise leaves on Sunday, so I guess it all works out fine.”

David grumbles impatiently.

“C’mon Bert, time is money.  You can give Steve all the info about the wedding when we come back Monday.  Later guys, It’s been a gas.”

He drags Bert out the door.  Ernie and Stephen exchange a glance, and Ernie offers an opinion.

“Some weird twosome. Is there really $10,000 in that envelope?”

“Looks green and good to me.  Guess I’d better get busy booking with the cruise line.”

He rises and walks to a cabinet behind the desks.  Sliding the door aside, he finds a small cashbox and casually drops the envelope inside.  He returns to his desk, and picks up the phone.  Ernie’s eyes never leave the cabinet.

Meanwhile, outside, Bert and David walk around the corner towards the Tempo.

“OK sir, what do we do now?”

“We head home, and take a nap.  This is liable to be an all night affair.  In fact, I’ve gotta call my brother and cancel dinner.”

“And what’s the plan?”

“The agency closes today at four.  Sheffield knows that Ernie and his brother are going to a hockey game with friends.  He’ll give us a call when they leave.  Then we head back there, hunker down, and see if the rat goes for the cheese.”

Bert speaks hesitantly.

“Sir, what if I came home with you?  Wouldn’t it be easier for us to get back and insure there were no screw ups?”

David observes him closely…then laughs, and sings.

“Hey there lonely boy……..Ok, Bert, you’ve got a point.  But no singing, no talking, no anything but napping.”

“Sure thing, sir.”

“And in case you’re interested, you’re sleeping in the guest room.”

They enter the car and drive off.

Late Afternoon – Lobby of Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, NY

Maddie and Agnes enter the revolving door.  Agnes is laden down with boxes and bags from various high priced New York boutiques.  A bellman trails along after them with another armful, well two armloads full.  Maddie hasn’t quit walking or talking.

“We have just enough time to shower and change and get to the theater.  I made reservations at Tavern on the Green but we can go to Sardi’s if you prefer.”

“We are eating dinner after the play?”  Agnes drops one of the boxes she is carrying.  The bellman tries to pick it up and dumps one of the armloads he is carrying, then both of them.

“Of course … I love New York.  So cultural.”

“What are we going to see again Miss Hayes?”  Agnes is helping the bellman.

“Les Miserables … wonderful.  I haven’t seen it for years.  It is the story of --”  

Maddie stops and looks to her left and right realizing that Agnes is not following her anymore.  There is a commotion behind her.  A woman has tripped over the bags that the bellman has dropped.  The woman is dressing the bellman down.

“What is wrong with you?  What is your name?  I’ll have your job for this.”

Maddie turns and realizes that the woman is Amy, Richie’s wife.

“Amy?  Amy Addison?”  Maddie asks.

Amy wheels around at the use of her husband’s name.

“Who are – Oh, Maddie Hayes and ….”  Amy is not happy to see Maddie.  She looks down and recognizes Agnes, even if she can’t remember her name. “… Agatha.”

“Agnes.  Agnes DiPesto.”

“Whatever … Is everyone from Los Angeles in New York this weekend?”

“Excuse me?”  Maddie has never liked Amy and this encounter is not likely to change her mind.  “We are in New York on a shopping spree.”

“I’m getting married.”  Agnes says holding up bags from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.  “Miss Hayes is –“

“Married?  Well good for you, Annabel.”  Amy’s sarcastic tone sets Maddie’s teeth on edge. 

“Agnes.”  Agnes corrects gently.

“Whatever.  Let me give you a piece of advice, Angie.  A piece of advice I should have listened to:  RUN … RUN LIKE HELL.”

“Excuse me?”  Agnes’ soft voice strikes Maddie dumb.

“I’ll give you little wedding present.”  She pulls her card out of a pocket in her suit and hands it to her.  “When you are ready to dump the bastard, give me a call.  I’ll do your divorce for free.”

“Oh, we won’t be getting --”

“Wake up, Alice.”


“Whatever. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce and the rest are just too damn lazy to actually file the paper work.  Don’t be one of the lazy ones.”

Amy turns on her heel and walks toward the elevators.

“I guess she and Mr. Addison’s brother are still having troubles.”  Agnes says as she leans down to help the bellman.   Agnes is unaffected by Amy’s remarks, but Maddie is fuming.

Cut to Room 1115 – minutes later

Amy is on her way out again when Maddie comes barreling through the door.

“A word with you, Counselor.”

“On my way out, DETECTIVE.”

“How dare you do that to Agnes?”

“Do what?  To whom?”

“Agnes … her name is AGNES.  The woman has never done anything to you … how dare you tromp all over her like that?”

“What are you talking about?”


“Trying to save Agatha a world of hurt down the road.”

“AGNESSS!!!  Her name is AGNES.”


“You don’t know anything about Agnes and Bert or what they have been through or whether or not they will make it work … and moreover you don’t care.”

“That’s right … I don’t care.  So leave.”

“Not this time sister.  I am sick and tired of your ‘holier than thou’ attitude.”

“MY ‘holier –“

“You are a spoiled, selfish, controlling, entitled –“

”You talking about me or you?”

“You wouldn’t know a genuine feeling if it bit you in the ass.”

“That’s the pot calling the kettle –“

“I never knew what Richie saw in you, but he’d be better off without you.”

“That is the first thing you said that I agree with.”

“How can you be so … so … so ….”

“Hard? Cold? Unaffected?  You ought to know.  You put the ‘Ice’ in Ice Queen.  Model turned detective … HA … get a life and stay the hell out of mine.”

“What is it with you?  I have always tried to make you feel welcome –“

“WELCOME? That is rich.  You hated me from the moment you met me.”

“I have always–“

“Well NEWSFLASH girlfriend, this isn’t about you.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You hate the idea that anything can be about anyone but you.  I’ll bet what’s-her-name’s wedding is all about you too.  Did you pick out the ring?  The dress?  Hell I bet you even ordered the invitations?  Did the BRIDE have any say in it at all?”

“You don’t know what you are talking about.”

“I know that you are a control freak.  Well you won’t control me.  I am out of your life … more importantly you are out of mine.”

“You and Richie broke up?”

“Broke up?  You make it sound like we were going steady.  Oh yeah … that’s right.  You can’t make a commitment beyond tomorrow.  That is why you get along so well with Richard and his brother: irresponsible, immature losers.  Lost causes … all of you.  Well I’m glad I can say I am done with it.”

Maddie stands glaring at Amy for a second.

“No big retort to that one, Miss Banter?”

“You’re the loser Amy.”  Maddie calmly states.  “If you can’t see what Richard Addison has to offer, he is better off without you.”

“What Richard has to –?“

“Richard Addison is kind and loving. He would give his right arm to help anyone.  You want to talk about commitment?  Did you listen to the vows you made?  Well, Richie believed them and he has been trying to live up to them.  Can you say that, Miss Lawyer-on-the-fast-track-to-nowhere?  Richard Addison is the only genuine thing you have in your life and if you let him go – there is no hope for you.”

Amy opens her mouth to retort but the phone rings.

“I am finished here.  One last thing … you ever intentionally try to ruin Agnes’s happiness again, and I will personally pull every hair out of your head with my bare hands.  GOT IT?”

Maddie turns on her heel and slams the door behind her.  Amy is a little stunned but reaches over to pick up the phone.

“Yes?”  Amy tenses.  “Thank you … Send her up.”  She drops the receiver in the cradle and looks at herself in the mirror.  “And the hits just keep on coming.”  Amy walks into the bedroom to check her make up.

Moments later there is a quick knock on Amy’s door and her mother lets herself in with a key.

“Mother?  You have a key?”

“Is this the best room they have?” 

Charlotte Roberts is a very handsome woman.  She is immaculately dressed in a tailored suit from Paris that accentuates every curve and line on her perfectly toned body.  She is carrying her overcoat and a briefcase.  She is in better shape at 57 than most women in their teens.  Her hair is perfect, not a strand out of place.  Her make up is understated and clean.  Her air and mannerisms let people know that she is in control, on top of it and she knows.  She is a force of nature.

“The room is fine, Mother.”

“How often do they change the flowers?  Do they change the sheets every day?  You have to stay on them, dear.”

Amy looks away fighting back her anger.  “I wasn’t expecting you for an hour.”

“I came up early.  I need to discuss some disturbing news I got today.”


The women sit down in the parlor.

“I received a call from Gerald.”

“Mahoney?  Gerald called you?”  Amy looked to the other bedroom.   It was dark.

“He is very concerned about you.  He says that Richard was here yesterday.  Do you have an explanation?”

“Mother, are you telling me that Gerald called you to tell you that my husband was in New York?”  Amy’s ire is steeling her spine.

“He is concerned about you.  It is my opinion that Gerald wants more than a partner in law, and if you win this case, that will be the next … prospect.”

“Mother, what are you saying?”

“Gerald is so much more suited to you, dear.  The Mahoneys are a fine family and the firm of Mahoney, Willis and Shepherd would benefit if ‘Roberts’ was added to the banner.”


“I have prepared the papers.”  She pulls a thick file of papers from her brief case.  “I have given Richard a very generous settlement.”  She flips through the pages.  “He will receive alimony which will be paid from the firm, the condo in Bel Air and the vehicle.  I think it is very generous considering that he brought nothing to the marriage and we are talking a matter of months that you were together.”

“Mother, you expect me to divorce Richard and marry Gerald?”

“Is there something wrong?  I assume with these living arrangements, that that was your plan all along.”

“There is nothing going on between Gerald Mahoney and me.”

“Oh, I completely understand.  Until the divorce is final you must remain above reproach.  I think that is very wise.”

“Mother I don’t like Gerald Mahoney.  I don’t love him.”

“Like or love have very little to do with marriage.”

“Of course they do.”

“My poor naïve child, you have too much of your father in you.  Marriage is not about love; marriage is about financial security and opportunity.  I wish I had known that, well no mistake is above a legal bandage.”

“Then why haven’t you divorced Daddy?”

“You know this dear, we have been over it a number of times.  You father is from a very well respected family.  The fact that he did not choose to follow in the family business is irrespective; I have filled that position.  The family put me through law school and for that they and he deserve my loyalty.”

“That’s it?  Loyalty?”

“Yes dear.  Gerald Mahoney is giving you a very generous opportunity to show your true mettle.  When you have proven yourself and have rid yourself of past … mistakes, I can see that doors will be flying open for you.  I am very proud of you.  A Mahoney/Roberts merger would be a coup the likes of which have not been scene since the Kennedy Administration.”

“Mother.”  Amy stands up.  She can’t take it any more.  “I am not signing those papers.  And I will have to cancel dinner.”

Charlotte Roberts stands up and meets her daughter’s anger head on.  “I will leave the papers with you.  I am sure after you have time to reflect you will see the advantage in this solution.”  She drops the file on the table loudly.  “You will be joining us for dinner.  We are meeting Gerald, his parents, the Troxlers and Windhams.  I will leave you alone to get dressed.  Please find something more appropriate to wear.”

Amy looks at herself in the mirror quickly.  She is dressed in an almost identical suit to her mother’s.  Her mother’s of course is handmade and tailored to her, whereas Amy’s is Armani off the rack.

“Drinks are at 7.”  Charlotte walks out.

Amy sits down on the couch.  She has been disappointing that woman for thirty-four years.  She reaches down and picks up the papers and leafs through them.  It is a very generous offer.  One that Amy can’t possibly afford which means that Mother is again footing the bill. 

“I wonder how long she will hold this over my head?” she says to an empty room.

Amy picks up a pen and flips to the first place she is to sign.  Her pen is poised over the line for a long moment.  She drops the pen and closes the folder.  She picks up the phone and dials the desk.

“Good evening. … This is Amalia Roberts in 1115.  Do you have a single room available?  I need to change rooms. … No, there is nothing wrong with the room.  … Mr. Mahoney will be contacting you about the other room. … No, another floor … another building if you have it. … Thank you.  … Can you ask the bellman to move my luggage in an hour? … Thank you.  Good night.”

Amy hangs up and again catches herself in the mirror.  “MORE APPROPRIATE you say Mother?  Well, hold onto you butt.  I’ll give you APPROPRIATE and then some.”  Amy walks into the bedroom and pulls a simple black cocktail dress out of the closet and tosses it on the bed.  She opens her jewelry box and pulls out her wedding rings and slips them on her left hand.  As she unbuttons her blouse, she closes the door.  The last thing we see is a knowing smile.

Act 3 - Sunday

1:30 A.M. --  Paradise Found Travel Agency

The interior of the office is dark, with small pockets of dim light that trickle in from the streetlights outside. 

In a corner of the office, on the floor in one of these puddles of light are David and Bert.  David lies on his back, hands behind his head, totally relaxed.  Bert sits nervously, gnawing on one fingernail, then another.  David winces at the sound, and finally when he can stand no more, he speaks in a forceful, although somewhat hushed tone.

“Bert, enough with the chewing.  You’re driving me crazy.”

“Sorry sir.  This is just a little nerve wracking, sitting here all this time waiting for who knows what.  How can we be sure this guy’s gonna show up?”

“If I were a betting man – hell, who am I kidding – betting is one of the things I do best.  Two to one he shows.  The fact that we found the lock to the window in the storeroom open is enough confirmation for me.”

“Hope you’re right, sir.  I just find it difficult to sit here all this time.”

“You’re not a rookie at stakeouts, my boy.”

“No, guess I’ve just got a lot on my mind.”

“I demand fun undercover partners………understanding of course, that you are at a distinct disadvantage to my normal under the covers partner.  Besides the obvious, she also happens to look much better in black than you do.”

Bert looks down at his rumpled black sweat suit and shrugs.

“Speaking of Miss Hayes, have you and she spoken since they left?”

“Nope – really didn’t even expect to.  I can see her now – orchestrating every bit of this shopping extravaganza like the conductor at a symphony.  Poor Agnes.”

“Yeah, well, when I checked, Agnes had left me a message on our machine.  I don’t know how to explain it – she didn’t say much, but there was something in her voice……….maybe she’s just tired.”

He sighs.  David looks over at him, grinning.

“Not hard to believe with Captain Horatio Hayes at the helm.”

“Mr. Addison, you’re really not surprised that you haven’t heard from Miss Hayes?”

“We don’t operate that way, Bert.  She’s back there having a ton of fun and that is what is occupying her mind and her time.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t rather be curled up here with her instead of you.  It just means we don’t have any rules about how often we need to check in with each other.”

“I see.”  Bert responds, when clearly he doesn’t.  David continues.

“Hell, even if we were in New York together, we might be doing different things.  Me, I like rocking out at the clubs and seeing old friends in the Village.  She loves shopping and the theater.  She’s probably dragged Agnes to that Miserable thing ….you know, that play?  She plays the music all the time.

“Is that classical music?  We’re not much for classical music.”

“I guess it’s classical.  I guess I never really listen.  Kinda more like background noise.”

Bert jumps up, shrieking.

“Something crawled over my hand!!”

David sings, ‘La cucaracha, la cucaracha’……….it’s only a bug, Bert.  Jeez, what’s bothering you?”

“I don’t know.  Antsy, I guess.  With all this talk of weddings and honeymoons and stuff, I’m just realizing that all this is coming up pretty soon.”

“My brother calls that froze toes……..oh damn, I forgot to call him.  I had some crazy message from my father’s wife telling me they needed to talk to me about my brother.  Who knows what that was about?…….Well, I hope Rich realized something had come up when I didn’t meet him for dinner…….Sorry, Bert.  Now what were you saying?”

“I don’t think it’s froze toes….that’s cold feet, I assume?  Agnes and I have been living together for so long that getting married just seems like the next logical step.  It’s just all the rigmarole involved.  Sometimes I think we just should have taken off somewhere, just the two of us and gotten married without all the fuss.”

“So why don’t you just do it?”

“The wedding is for Agnes, sir.  Isn’t every woman supposed to dream of a big romantic wedding?”

“So they say……….better you than me, pal.”

“Meanwhile, I still do need to plan a honeymoon.”

David’s eyes open wide, as he hears something.  He gestures for Bert to keep silent, and they listen.
The door to the storeroom is ajar, and from here we can hear the sounds.  The window creaks as it is pushed open, and something drops onto the floor.  Minutes pass, and we are focused on David and Bert as they sit silently and listen.  There are various small bangs and bumps, followed by several groans.

David gestures to Bert, and they crawl towards the storeroom.  David leads, peering around the door into the room.  What he can see through the dim light makes him start to laugh.  He rises, still chuckling, and flips on the light switch.

In the wall, there is a window, longer and narrower than most.  Ernie Griffin is half in, half out of the window, and appears to be stuck.  He continues to struggle as the light flares, temporarily catching him off guard.

David comments.

“Bert, would you look at that?  The Sheffield’s have gotten a new 3-D picture for the office.  Very lifelike.  Either that or our pudgy friend Ernie is stuck in the window.  Guess you might want to reconsider dessert, huh Ern?”

Ernie glares at David and bellows.

“Don’t just stand there.  Help me out.”

David confers with Bert.

“I don’t know, Bert.  The guy is asking for our help.”

“Looks to me like he was going to help himself, Mr. Addison.”

Ernie roars.

“Addison, who the hell is Addison?  Isn’t your name Johnson?…….I don’t care who you are.  Get me out of here.  This hurts.”

Bert addresses him.

“Sorry, but we are not the Johnsons.  I’m Bert Viola and this is David Addison.  We’re from the Blue Moon Detective Agency.  Stephen Sheffield hired us to prove who’s been stealing from the travel agency.”

“Stealing? Now wait a minute --  I’m not stealing.”

David jumps in.

“Not a very convincing argument stuck in that window the way you are.  Were you trying to break out backwards?”

“Good one, sir.  I bet if I go outside, there is a ladder propped up against this window.

Ernie whines.

“Let me explain.”

David’s voice is stern.

“You don’t need to explain anything to us.  Bert, go call Stephen Sheffield, and let him know that the rat has sprung the trap.  Actually, more literally, the rat has gotten his fat ass stuck in the trap.”

Bert flashes David a grin.

“Sure thing, boss.”

Bert goes into the other room, as David looks up at Ernie and snickers.

“If I were you, pal, I would try to stay very, very still.  I’m pretty sure that the Sheffields can be persuaded to keep this a private matter, but I can’t promise anything if you attract attention.  Your posterior protruding out the side of this building might be hard to explain to the LAPD.”

David sits down to wait for the Sheffields.

One hour later

Bert ushers the Sheffield brothers into the storeroom.  Stephen observes the spectacle of Ernie’s dilemma, then turns to his brother.

“Ted, these two men are not clients.  I’d like to introduce you to David Addison and Bert Viola, of Blue Moon Investigations. I hired them to prove who was committing the thefts………..and I believe you already know the wall decoration over there.”

Ted looks contemptuously at Ernie, who begins to babble.

“Ted. Let me explain.  I knew your burglar alarm was on the fritz and ---“

Ted stops him with a look.

“And you decided to take advantage of the situation – and our friendship.  Look at yourself, Griffin, you’re even a loser at trying to be a loser.  Burglary, for God’s sakes, you stupid jerk!

He turns to David and Bert.

“Thank you gentlemen.”

David looks towards Stephen and then back to Ted.

“Your brother is the one who hired us – who worked with us to prove his suspicions.  He’s the one you should thank.”

Ted turns to Stephen, with hand extended.

“They’re right, Steve.  Great job, partner.”

“So what should we do with him, Ted?”

Ted answers sharply.

“Call the cops.”

Ernie starts to plead.

“Ted, Steve, give me a break.  We can work this out.  Please, no cops.”

Ted defers to Stephen.

“Your call, Steve.  You broke up his cozy little scam.  Say the word and we’ll have him put away.”

Stephen laughs.

“Maybe we should just let him stay there.  What a conversation piece – a horse’s ass is much more interesting than a moose’s head.”

He continues after a moment of thought.

“There is the matter of $12,000 and a woman who helped him with this scheme.”

Ernie rushes the answer, almost frantic.

“She was somebody I picked up in a bar – a nobody.  I paid her $500. to go in and get the money.  I don’t even know where to find her.  I can give you all the money I have – and maybe we can work out a deal so I can pay back the rest.  Please?”

Ted and Stephen exchange glances again.  Stephen nods, and Ted addresses Ernie.

“Steve’s being a lot nicer to you than you deserve.  A lot nicer than you’ve ever been to him.”

He turns to David and Bert.

“Thank you again gentlemen.  Excuse me while I get this idiot out of my window.”

He starts to push Ernie as Stephen, David and Bert exit to the outer office.  We hear a loud thud and a yell.  Stephen, grinning, turns and shakes hands with first Bert, and then David.

“You guys have done a great job, and I really appreciate it.”

David speaks out.

“Mr. Sheffield, you did most of the work yourself.  And while that is not going to stop me from sending you a bill, you’ve gotta know that YOU made this happen – we just operated using your information.”

“Well, Addison, I think we made a pretty good team – that whole scam about Bert getting married and needing a honeymoon.”

“Actually, Steve, that part wasn’t a scam.  I am getting married.”

David volunteers.  “And he does need to plan a honeymoon.”

Stephen ponders for a minute.

“You guys have been just great.  I’d like to do something for you.  You know, I really did book that cruise, to make the whole thing look authentic.”

David’s eyes twinkle.

“You’re kidding?”

Bert, the voice of reason, interjects.

“But we’re not getting married until the first day of spring.  My fiancée has her heart set on it.”

Stephen goes on.

“But what could be more romantic than a Valentine’s wedding?  Especially at 50% off.”

Bert gulps.

“50% off?”

“50% off.  And because you guys did such a great job, if you decide to get married on the ship, I’ll throw in the whole reception – my gift to you.”

Bert is dumbfounded, while David pokes him with an elbow.

“Bert, you just finished saying how you’d like to avoid all the crap.  This could work.”

Bert stutters and stammers.

“I….I….I just don’t know.  I’m not sure.  I’ve got to discuss this with Agnes.”

Stephen smiles.

“Sure.  I just need an answer on Monday morning, otherwise I’ve got to cancel the reservations.”

David again shakes Stephen’s hand.

“That was a nice offer, Mr. Sheffield.  Thanks again.  Pleasure to do business with you.”

He grabs Bert’s arm and pulls him towards the door.  Bert looks back, and smiles, all the while muttering.

“50% off.  Wow!”

Brunch – Oscar’s at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, NY

Agnes has just come back to the table.  She is all aflutter.

“So how was Bert?”  Maddie asks as she puts butter on her scone.

“He is great.  They solved a case.”


“Yeah, some travel agent … anyway he booked our honeymoon.  We are going on a weeklong cruise to Mexico on Valentine’s Day.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

“Valentine’s Day?  But your wedding is not until March.”

“That’s Ok.  You know Bert and me … we never do things in the right order.”

Maddie is silent for a moment as Agnes orders enough food to feed an army.  The waiter leaves.

“It’s a Valentine’s cruise … Puerto Vallerta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.  Full of couples and some even get married during the trip.  I guess by the Captain or maybe in Mexico.  Is a wedding in Mexico legal?  How romantic to be married in a foreign country … and on Valentine’s Day.  I always thought is would be nice to be married on Valentine’s Day.”

Agnes first course arrives … grapefruit and honey.  She drowns the grapefruit and eats hungrily.

Maddie puts down her fork and wipes her mouth.  She motions to the waiter for more champagne.

“Agnes, did you have a dream wedding when you were young?”

“You mean the pretend kind where you put a towel on your head and pretend it’s a veil?”

“Well … except for the towel … what was your dream wedding like?”

“I don’t know … I am not sure I had one … I mean JUST one.  I remember there was a time when I wanted to get married at the top of a ski slope and then slalom down with the bridal party behind.  Then there was the underwater wedding I planned, but we would have had to write the vows down.  When I was dating the football team I thought I would get married at half-time of the Super Bowl … of course that would only work if I were marrying the quarterback of one of the teams playing … well maybe a linebacker.  I guess I had a lot of them.”

“What about with Bert?  Did you have a wedding in mind when you and Bert got together?”

“Not really.  Bert and I just fit so well together.  That is not to say that we don’t have our issues.  I mean he is always around.  I wish he would get a hobby or something.  I guess I never really thought about it.  Did you?”

“What, think about your wedding with Bert?”

“No, with Mr. Addison.”

“Agnes, Mr. Addison and I aren’t getting married.”

“Not today you aren’t, but you haven’t ruled it out have you?”

“No, I haven’t ruled it out.”

“So what would be your perfect wedding?”

Maddie smiles, “A small group of friends, a good dinner and vows we had written ourselves at sunset on the water.”

“Think you’ll have to write Mr. Addison’s vows for him.”

“You might be right.”

“Agnes, we are nearly done with the plans for the wedding.”

“We are.  I think it will be beautiful.  You are really good at this type of thing.  If you ever give up detective work you have a job as a wedding planner.”

“Agnes, I need you to answer me honestly … is that the wedding you want?  Big fancy dress, string quartet, flowers everywhere and catered French food?”

“Sure.”  She doesn’t sound convincing.

“Agnes?  Honestly.”

“Well … I mean I like it, but I think it might be a little much for Bert.  He gets a rash from snails.  He’s kind of a simple guy.”

“He is that.  Would you prefer to get married in Mexico or on the cruise?”

“No … I mean isn’t it too late?  You have done all that work.  Made all those arrangements.”

“Arrangements can be cancelled.  This is your wedding Agnes, yours and Bert’s … you need to tell me what is best for you two.”

“I think Bert would like it to be as simple as possible.  He did say that he got a super discount on the cruise and that it included the bridal party.”

“OK … then the cruise it is.”

“Oh Miss Hayes, you had such beautiful plans for us … I hate to disappoint you.”

“You haven’t.  You would disappoint me if you went ahead with this just for me.”

“You are the best Miss Hayes.”

“Now what about the dress?”

“The one we picked out yesterday is really nice, but …”


“I was thinking that I would get married in my Great Aunt Agnes’s dress.  I was named for her.  It was made by her grandmother and aunts.  It is all handmade lace.  It is beautiful.  But it needs some work.”

“Too much work to be ready in time for Valentine’s Day?”  Maddie smiles.

Agnes grins.  “Not that much.  So what about the rest of the stuff?”

“You mean your trousseau?  Let it be my gift to you.”

“I like the night gown.”

“The peignoir is lovely.”

“And the high tops.”

“You are going to wear those to your wedding aren’t you?”

Agnes grins and Maddie shakes her head.

“OK … well that is settled.  I need to make a few phone calls but then the day is ours … what would you like to do?”

“I have never been to the Statue of Liberty or ridden the subway.”

“We can do the Statue, but the subway is out.”

The waiter brings Agnes’s next course and she digs in.

Maddie watches her for a moment amazed at how this little woman can put away food.  Then asks tentatively, “Agnes, am I too controlling?”

FREEZE on Agnes with a mouthful of Eggs Benedict.

Late Afternoon - Peacock Alley, the lounge at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, NY

Richie is waiting nervously at a table in the corner.  His eyes are trained on the door.  Amy walks in slowly and Richie tenses.  She spots him and walks directly to him.  There is no evidence that she is nervous, except that thing she does with her fingers.  Richie notices.  Amy sits down and he asks if she wants a drink.

“Double Absolut straight up.”  She tells the waiter.  Richie shakes his head to the waiter.  His plain water is fine.  “Been waiting long?”

“I got here an hour ago.”  She gives him a sad look.  “I didn’t want to be late.”

“When is your flight?”

“I have about an hour before I gotta go.”

They sit silent for a moment.

“But if I miss it, I’ll take the next one.”  He finishes.

“Will there be another one tonight?”

“If not, I’ll take the first out one in the morning.”

“Richie, why are you doing this?”

“Cause I love you Ames.”

The drinks arrive and they are stumped for how to begin next. Amy starts.

“Richie, I don’t …”

“Let me say my peace, ok?”  Amy nods reluctantly.  “I know I have not been an ideal husband.  I know that I could have done more to help you get this partnership thing you’re going after.”


“Please Ames. We got off to a rocky start but that is no reason to quit.”


“I can do better.  I will do better.  I can get a job, a good job.  And keep it.”

“Is that really what you want?”

“I want you Amy.  That is all I have ever wanted.”

“You want the past Richard.”

“No, no I don’t.  I want the future.  I want the future that you and I talked about.  I want the walks on the beach, bar-b-ques in the dead of winter, Christmas lights on palm trees and the kids in the yard.  L.A. was supposed to be our place, Ames.  It was supposed to be our future.  We were finally getting away from our families and doing what we wanted to do.”

“You mean my family.”

Richie nods slightly.

“It’s what you said you wanted Ames.”

“I know.”  They sit quietly for a long moment.  Amy plays with the wedding rings on her hand.

“You put them back on.”  Richie knew he shouldn’t have said that as soon as the words left his mouth.

“I’m still married aren’t I?”  She said with an angry tone in her voice as she tucked her left hand into her lap.

“Does that mean you want to be?”

“I don’t know, Rich.”  She leaned back in her chair.

“What do you know?”

“I know that I don’t want to be Charlotte Roberts.  I know I don’t want you to be like my dad.”

“The Dessert King?”

“He’d kill you for saying that.”

“I like your dad.  I always thought he liked me.”

“He does … he likes everyone.”

“Your mom on the other hand…”

“It is all just been happening so fast.”


“Richard, do you realize that we have only known each other for fifteen months?”


“We were engaged in less than four weeks.”

“I knew I was going to marry you before you ever opened your mouth.”

“I need a little time to think this all out.”

“Time?  How much time?  What is there to think about?”

“I don’t know … I just don’t want to make a mistake.”

“You mean another one?”

“I am sorry I said that.  That was totally uncalled for.”


“Richard, I want to do what I want for once in my life and not because of someone else’s agenda or plan for me.”

“Now you are saying you married me because I wanted you to.”

“Or because … I don’t know.  Maybe marrying you was the only right thing I have ever done.  I don’t know.  I just know that I keep acting and reacting … to my mother … to my father … to you … to the firm … to everyone.” 


“I went to law school for my mother, but picked her alma mater’s archrival.  I refused to go into corporate law and have bounced around trying to find a place for myself.  I married you.”

“Because I wanted you to?  Or to piss her off?”

“I don’t know Rich.  We were engaged before I knew it and the rest of it snowballed.  I just need fifteen minutes to myself … without people barking in my ear … pushing their agendas.  Fifteen minutes of silence … to catch my breath and make a plan … or not make a plan … just pick a direction.  MY direction.  Is that really too much to ask?”

Richie took a deep breath.  “Fifteen minutes?”

“Not literally Richard.”

“So … what literally?”

“I need to finish this case I am working on.”

“With Mahoney?”

“Richard there is nothing going on with Gerald.”

“Is that your choice or his?”

“Mine.  I moved into a single room.  We aren’t sharing the suite anymore.”  Richie nods to give the impression that that is one point for him.

“What about me?”

“What about you?”

“I’m supposed to go back to California and wait for you to come back or not?”

“You could get a job.”

“A job?”

“Yeah, you could find something to do with your days that is productive and interesting and rewarding.”

“I could?”

“I don’t want to be your whole life Richard.  I can’t be.”

Richard takes a deep breath and looks away.

“Are you coming back to Los Angeles?  If you know now you have to tell me.  I don’t want to try to make a life out there if there is no possibility that you will be in it.  So tell me, are you coming back to LA?”

“I will come back.  As soon as the case is over.”

“When will that be?”

“As it looks right now … end of February or early March.”

“Is this case really that important?  More important than our marriage?”

“Are you asking me to choose?”

“No.  I just want to know where I fit.”  Amy looks down.  “So it’s that big a deal?”

“Well, yes.  It actually split into three cases and this will give me a very big feather in my cap … maybe even a partnership, if I win.”

“You’ll win.  You are the best lawyer I know.”

“I am the only lawyer you know.”

“I only know the best.”

They smile.

“Ok … I guess I can give you your fifteen minutes.”

“Thank you.” 

There is a long stiff uncomfortable silence. 

“You better get going.  You’ll miss your plane.”

“I could stay … just tonight … leave in the morning.”

Amy looks softly into his face for a moment.  “I would like that but …”

“I know … forget it … never mind.”

“Richard, there are moments when …”

“Don’t say anything Ames.  Not ‘til you are ready.  Not ‘til you are sure.  I have some of my own thinking to do.”


“Well, if you are on your way to be a BIG TIME lawyer …”

“I never said that.”

“Well you are.  That is who you are.  I’ve seen you.  You are in the zone when you are working a case.”

“How can you know that, when I don’t?”

“I know, and you know too, or you will.  So now I need to decide if I want to be Mr. Amalia Roberts, Esq.”

“I would never expect that of you.”

“Yeah, I know that too.”  Richie looks defeated.  “We had some good times though, didn’t we?”

“Some great times.”

“But who knows … there may be better ones ahead for us.”

“I hope so.”

“Do you?”

“I do.”

“You’ve said that before and look where that go us.”


Richard gets up and pulls on his father’s parka.  “Call me once in a while … would ya?”

“I will.”

“I guess I’ll see you in a month or so.”


He turns to walk out.

“Richie?”  She calls after him as she reaches to grab his arm.

Richie can barely feel her hand on his arm through the down of the parka, but he turns at the sound of her voice.  In an instant she is in his arms.  They hang on to each other for a long moment.  Neither is willing to break the embrace.

“I gotta go.”  Richie’s voice cracks.  He pulls himself from her arms and bolts out of the lounge and down the stair. 

Amy is left alone.  For the first time in her life she has finally gotten what she wants: to be left alone.  Alone with her thoughts.  Alone with her feelings.  Alone with her past.  Alone with her future.  Alone with her life.  Alone to choose the path she wants to follow.  She is alone.  She doesn’t like it much so far.  Her eyes fill with hot tears that are forced back.  She looks down at her left hand.  She takes the rings off and puts them in her pocket.  She drains her glass.  Signs the check.  Walks out into the lobby.  She looks down the stairs to see if Richie is still there.  He is gone, long gone.  She pulls the rings out of her pocket and puts them back on.  Gerald Mahoney steps up to her from a corner of the lobby.

“How’s your new room, Ames?”

“Quiet … very quiet.”  She looks back at him.  “Perfect to get some … research done.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

She walks away.


Late Sunday Night – Hayes/Addison Bedroom – Los Angeles

David is stretched out on the bed.  Maddie exits the bathroom in a new peignoir that she got in New York City … very sexy.  She twirls around to give him a view from all sides.

“You like?”

David smirks, “Honey, that is sheer heaven……..emphasis on the sheer.”

“I thought about getting you one of those “I HEART NY” T-shirts but…….

“I’m not sure you’d want me walking around with a heart on.  At least not in public.”

“Would that be new?”  Maddie slyly glances over at him.  “Didn’t see your car when I came up.”

“Thought it was as good a time as any to get the jalopy detailed.”

“Detailed……..right……Are you going to call Richie?”

“He called after you dropped him off, to apologize for not making dinner last night.  We’re gonna shoot some pool tomorrow night.”

“Good.  He put on a good show, but I think he needs a friend.”

“A friend and a brother………think I can do that.  Meanwhile… are you fixed for friends……or lovers…..or friends who are lovers………or……?”

“So you missed me, huh?”

“Well, it was an interesting weekend…..I’ve gotta tell you honey, you’re no Bert Viola.”

“Good to know.”

“You ain’t kidding. ……..things with Agnes all squared away?”

“They are…she gets the wedding of her dreams…and we get to keep our backyard.”

“Plus….get to go on a cruise.”

Maddie yawns and slips into bed with David.  “I’m exhausted.”

“Really exhausted?  Too tired to ………say welcome home?”

“Thought you’d never ask.”

Maddie switches out the light.  In the darkness, we hear the rustling of sheets.  Then after a moment….

“David, am I too controlling?”

Cut to black.

This has been a bicoastal production, and we have to admit, a lot of fun. In fact, if Lizzie were feeling better, and Diane were a little less tired, we would probably be doing cartwheels.

Thanks to the usual cast of characters……and as usual, thanks to our faithful readers. Break out your sunscreen…we’ll see you at the wedding in two weeks.

Lizzie and Diane