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Bleu

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An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« on: March 23, 2014, 09:27:27 am »
Throughout all of his time in London, Donovan had never minded the rain. People complained that it was gloomy and depressing, but he never felt anything other than relaxation from it. He found it comforting, and a perfect condition during which he could continue his many duties as a student and as a son. The rain wasn’t even a problem in his football career, for he had no issues playing in the rain and getting dirty. There was nothing that the rain couldn’t clean, and he liked the thought.

A clean slate.

The young boy of fifteen years leaned back on the passenger’s seat, resting his head back as the small silver car moved through traffic. His eyes were closed, but a smile was on his face. He had just had a wonderful practice for his school’s football team, and the muddied red jersey he wore was a sign of that. Now he only had to get through the rest of the day. It wasn’t heavy rain, at least not heavy enough to cancel his first meeting at a local theater.

The Brighton Community Theater of London.

His mother had encouraged his participation, which had eliminated any chances Donovan might have had at having some free time. It would help his future, she had said.

“Are you sure your mum can pick you up?” Laura asked as she turned into the parking lot of the theater. “I don’t mind coming back, Donny. Besides, why can’t I just take a quick peek to see what all the fuss is about? I’ll be quiet, I swear.”

The woman joked.

Laura was Donovan’s girlfriend, chocolate-skinned and beautiful. She didn’t mind that Donovan was two years younger than she, for he was tall, handsome, and intelligent way beyond his years. It was in an advanced mathematics classroom that they had met. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that she wanted something with him. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he wanted the same thing, either.

“I’m doing this for my mum,” said Donovan, opening his eyes and turning to meet Laura’s with his. “I would feel more comfortable if I went in alone, and if she picked me up herself. You know how she is, she’ll suspect me if you pick me up – say that I never even came to the theater.”  Donovan knew that it wasn’t a good enough excuse, but he didn’t want Laura to see him at something that he may not even enjoy.

The last thing he wanted to do was embarrass himself in front of his girlfriend.

“Alright,”
she said with a frown, “then at least text me when you’re out.”

Donovan opened the door of the car and leaned in for a quick kiss. “I will.” He was quickly out of the car, umbrella in hand, and sprinting towards the theater entrance. A leather backpack hung casually over his shoulder, filled with notebooks and books, and his gym bag was strapped against the other. It was obvious that Donovan was a busy kid – school, sports, community activities, and a job to top it all off.   

The sound of Laura’s car leaving the parking lot was enough encouragement for Donovan to allow himself inside. He took a look at the lobby area, which presented pictures of past performances and actors. Large wooden double doors greeted him, with a glass chandelier falling from above. His mum had told him that this was one of the best community theaters in London, but he hadn’t quite believed her. The young football player immediately felt out of place.

Donovan had showered after practice and his shoes had been cleaned, but they still squeaked as he walked. He kept his jersey on, however,  for he had forgotten to bring a spare in the midst of his busy schedule.

A sign was posted on the double doors, directing him away from the main theater and towards a small rehearsal room where all actors and volunteers would meet for the first time. Some of them were returning veterans, of course, but it was Donovan’s first time ever doing something like that. Modeling was said to be similar, but Donovan disagreed. The feel of it was completely different.

Donovan ran his fingers through his still damp hair as he followed the arrows towards the rehearsal room. When he arrived, he noticed that the door was already open and that several people were inside. The room was definitely one for rehearsal, for bottles of paint and props were scattered all around.

“Welcome, welcome,” said a woman to him as he entered, waving him in with her hands and giving him a very warm smile. “We’re still waiting for some more people, so why don’t you take a seat Mister…?”

“Bukater,” said Donovan, looking at all the volunteers with a shy smile as the woman flipped through her notebook. “Yes, thank you.” He set his things aside and sat on the closest chair. Despite it being his first time, Donovan did not sound nervous.

“Donovan?”

“That’s right, ma'am.”

“Excellent,” she checked something on her notebook and then smiled to him again. “Welcome.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 01:52:14 pm »
Green eyes followed the moving world outside the window as she sat in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The car was silent, motionless. The sound of rain should have been relaxing, but it never was. “You should not partake in this play.” The reason the car did not move. The driver did not approve of her decision.

Maya’s mind sought a reason.
“You have been offered a job as a full-time actor of the Royal Shakespeare company,” the man continued, “You have a responsibility to the London Symphony orchestra, as well as to finishing your degree, Maya. There is no more time for this child’s play.”

‘I know.’

“Speaking of, you need to call off that paintball tournament as well,”
annoyance, “Your brother was stupid to consider entering you into it, now of all times. Doesn’t he have other delinquent friends who can do better than you?”

“He does,” Maya answered, “I will let him know I that I am too busy,” Angelus had asked her permission, of course. He had asked the entire team if they would be available to play in a tournament that weekend, unsure about the schooling of everyone and their schedules. The lie came easily, “However, it would be in poor tastes if I left this play now. It would show me as irresponsible to the Company and that is not an impression that I should start with.” She shifted her gaze then to the man sitting in the driver’s seat.

At times, she wondered if she had hallucinated their first meeting when he approached her at the piano bar. After three years, he no longer seemed like the man she thought he was.

Not that such mattered. Her mother approved of him, and so a ring rested on her finger that promised her to the insecure and controlling man. Maya lived under the delusion that it was what she wanted, for he was well-off, and he was going to take over as her manager once they were married, taking that power away from her mother. He was certainly capable, presently a lawyer in a firm, a recent graduate.

He was capable of much, and Maya always imagined he would prove that, one day.

That day would not be today. His fingers flexed over the wheel.
“Practice ends each evening around 9pm,” she turned her gaze from the brown-eyed man to the window. “You can pick me up then. I will wait for you.” It would make him comfortable, if he was in control of her arrival and her departure.

“9pm,” he repeated. “That is rather later. Is that the actual time it ends?”

Always suspicious,
“Yes. If it ever ends earlier I will call you. I will stay there.”

‘Give me one last childish thing.’
It was only childish because it wasn’t the elite. It was an excellent theater, though. She’d been scouted by the Royal Shakespeare company here, after all. ‘Before my life has to change, give me this last thing, God.’ Not that he ever seemed to listen, either.

The car started.
“Very well, but after this, no more of these foolish things,” he said. It was the closest he came to a compliment when he added, “I did not waste my time ensuring the Company recruited you.” He talked his own work up, when Maya wasn’t sure he’d done anything other than mention her performance to a friend. He talked as if she was only given the opportunity because of him.

And though she did not quite believe him, she would never contradict him,
“I know.” At least she was given this.

Her character was Beatrice, the lead role, of course. She needed it. The Royal Shakespeare job would not begin until she held the degree in her hands. Although that would be soon, it was not soon enough for Maya. She needed to escape into another character, another persona, or she was going to go insane. Of that, she was certain.

No longer did music ease her troubled mind.

No longer did dance let her forget her troubles.

Of course, all music was now practice for solos in the symphony. All dance was coordinated, competitive practice, no longer out for fun. The fun things were slowly being taken from her life, little by little, as she agreed to give up the ‘childish’ things in order to ensure Aeron’s insecurity didn’t rear its ugly head again.


‘Guilty conscious.’

Her mind hushed the thought immediately.

Her brother was going to throw a fit.
‘Angelus never liked him.’ Maya should have trusted in that, for she had felt a queer unease on their first meeting, but she had decided to ignore it. Never again would she ignore that feeling. She certainly didn’t whenever she saw Saxon on the television—though her brother liked him. ‘Perhaps I truly know nothing about people.’

It wouldn’t matter soon. The life ahead of her was what she’d always been told to dream—working professionally as a performer. The future was bright and full of opportunity. She would be married. She would have a family.


‘And yet….’


The thought was silenced with the insistence that all of this was what she wanted. She hadn’t spent her entire life working towards these goals, to give them up now. She just needed to have patience.

The car came to a rest outside the building,
“I will be here at 9pm.” There was a warning in his voice.

Maya, of course, pretended not to hear that.
“I will look forward to it,” she gave him a smile. He managed something similar before moving one hand from the wheel to take her chin in his fingers. He leaned towards her and placed a kiss on her lips, quick but firm.

“Goodbye,” he spoke to their parting and she returned it, opening the door and exiting the car. She stepped out into the rain and smiled, not concerned with how the rain might muck up her hair nor about her heels stepping into a puddle. She was always well-dressed, and today was no exception even if it was a casual meeting to start with. The purple dress hugged her form and the heels clicked up every step.

There was a part of her truly happy to be in this place, as she pushed open the glass doors and stepped in from the rain. She liked the people better here.

The woman with the notebook recognized her,
“Maya!” It had been since the Christmas holiday, “I heard the news,” Maya wondered which news as the woman crossed over and took her hand in hers. “Congratulations! I almost didn’t expect you to come.”

‘Ah, that news.’ “It would be in poor tastes if I didn’t. This is where I was found.”
It would always hold a special place in her heart.

She smiled, noted someone else,
“Take a seat, we will start soon.” Maya returned the smile and moved to take a seat as instructed. She found herself sitting besides a brunette boy she’d never met before.

“Hello,” she greeted him with a curious smile. “How are you today?”
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 03:08:30 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 05:39:37 am »
More people arrived in the room, but none was welcomed with more warmth than the one Donovan learned was named Maya. Most of the others in the room seemed to be pleased with her presence, which made Donovan curious as to why people doubted whether she would show. Maya certainly seemed to be a person of great reputation. When she stated that the community theater was where she had been found, Donovan knew.

She’d been offered a job elsewhere, and yet here she still remained. Immediately Donovan felt a surge of respect grow towards her. He didn’t know her, but he knew that she could honor her commitments. Donovan liked to believe that he was the same way.

Donovan closed the playbook that had been resting open on his lap as she took a seat next to him. He returned her smile with one of his own, straightening up on his chair.

“I’m very well,” exhausted, really, but he couldn’t complain about being unwell. Truthfully, Donovan wasn’t unwell – just a little more tired than he was used to. “Love the rain, it makes playing more fun. Maya, right? I’m Donovan,” he extended his hand for her to shake. “It’s my first time here,” then it occurred to him that Maya was a veteran, “but you know that already, don’t you? It’s nice to meet you.”

The soft hum of quiet conversation became prominent around the whole room as they all waited for the rest to arrive. Donovan never minded polite conversation, so he was comfortable waiting in the room. He wasn’t comfortable, however, with the way that some people looked at him. He knew it was foolish for him to regret the attention his good looks earned him, but it was tiresome to feel like people didn’t see the real him.

They looked at him superficially – most people did. Even in school, where he excelled above all, he was not expected to deliver extraordinary results.  They saw his pretty face and assumed that was who he was. Was that not a foolish way of thinking? Could a person not be multidimensional and complex? Couldn’t they go on with their life without unwarranted judgment?

Donovan had often in the past shrugged it off. He always proved them wrong, and he would do the same to those who prematurely judged him in that room. They’d become friends, and then they would see. It was never hard for Donovan to make friends.

“What role are you playing, Maya? Beatrice?” He gripped his playbook tightly in his hands, doing nothing more than offering a simple educated guess. “Borachio,” he confessed to his own role with a crooked smile.

The woman with the notebook nodded towards the last couple of people that entered the room and checked their names with a swift flick of her wrist.

“Hello everybody, and welcome to the Brighton Community Theater of London,” some people clapped and her warm smile widened. Donovan immediately knew that she would be one of the nicest people he would ever meet. She just had that thing about her. “As some of you know, and for those of you that don’t or may have forgotten, my name is Pam Adler and I will be in charge of this season’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.”

Donovan found himself clapping with rest of them.

“So, as is tradition, why don’t we all introduce ourselves and share a little about ourselves so that we can begin to feel more comfortable around each other – especially those that are joining us for the first time? What do you say?”

Donovan had always hated these introductions, but he had been expecting one since he signed up and tried out for a role. His audition had been his first ever, but Donovan had learned a great deal already. He was surprised that he had made it at all.

“Once we’ve all gotten a little more acquainted, we can run through a couple of scenes here in this room. After that, we can head into the main theater so we can begin our first rehearsal. So, who wants to go first?”

The young student bit his lip. He didn’t want to go first. 


Krystal Itzume

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 06:22:14 am »
Already it appeared that she had made an impression on the boy, for boy he was despite his height. Maya had a younger brother who had an impressive growth spurt—she could tell. His exhaustion was evident, but his smile was bright. He did not seem at all displeased to be here. ‘Those who are here, are here because they enjoy it.’ That was the difference between this theater, and others. It was why Maya liked it.

“A pleasure to meet you, Donovan,”
she took the hand, her own grip firm as she took on the role of groomed veteran that was expected here. “And I wouldn’t presume to know if you’ve been here or not—I can’t be in every play,” a chuckle.

“Not that you don’t try.”


Lanky and blond-haired Devlin slipped into the seat besides her. He gave her a smile, but said nothing more as she returned it, knowing her attention would be on the new person. She was always drawn to new things. He did eye the boy as some of the others did, doubting his talents despite it all.


“You’ll do fine,” Maya said, noting the looks that he was receiving as she withdrew her hand from him. Both of her own then clasped themselves in her lap. Her experience hadn’t been similar. She’d entered with a reputation behind her already, albeit in music and dance, it proved she’d do well in the musical she played in first. Fiddler on the Roof.

“Though I didn’t take you for a villain,”
she confessed, “I am Beatrice.”

Devlin heard, “Oh, god damn it.”

“Benedick?” Maya glanced over her shoulder at him.

“Yeah,” he wasn’t truly displeased. One of their best performances they’d had together, she had been Mephistopheles to his Faustus. He’d had quite a bit of fun with that modern spin on the old tale. “I wanted to be Don John.”

“Fits you.” His words were a lie. Devlin loved the spotlight.

Pam called attention to herself, and Devlin straightened up in his seat. Maya simply observed, applauded when the others did. This was how they all began, so she knew the routine. Most of the others did, too, but there were still fresh faces, or those who had only done one or two productions before.

Introductions were called for. It was the place of veterans to begin, so Maya did not hesitate when Pam’s eyes fell on her. She rose, and she smiled,
“Good afternoon everyone,” she let her eyes look over everyone in the room, and they would move from face to face as she spoke, “I am Maya Porter, and I shall be playing the role of Beatrice,” name, character, experience, something interesting, “I’ve been here for…a while now. I’ve forgotten, did I start when I was seven?” There was a laugh in her voice as she tried to recall exactly when, and she shook her head, “Well, long enough, I suppose. I have this theater to thank for my recent good fortune, for the Royal Shakespeare Company scouted me here. Even so, I doubt this is my last show here,” not if she had her way.

‘And when does that occur?’


No trace of such troubled thoughts appeared, though.
“I enjoy this place too much for that, and clearly the Company thinks it a place good enough to watch shows at, so we must be doing something right,” perhaps others would be scouted. She could give them that much hope, if not the encouragement that came with the knowledge that they were, indeed, watched by recruiters.

They certainly appreciated the sentiment as she sat down, and Devlin hopped to his feet.
“Devlin Sommers, player of Benedick, which won’t be much of a stretch,” crooked grin, “I wanted to be Don John, but some other asshole beat me to it,” he shot a glance at who he suspected, a smirk, before he continued, “I’ve been here since I was fourteen or so, ever since I took a drama class and fell in love with it. Haven’t been scouted yet, but you know, I bought a new car so I have that going for me. Pretty red corvette, sucks in this rain though.”

“A red corvette is a girl’s car,”
one of those who knew him noted.

“Girls love the car, you mean.”
And he let himself fall back into his seat. He was always easy to follow, as he tended to set a casual mood.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:55:27 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 01:34:53 am »
Donovan noted the way Devlin looked at him, a little differently than the others did, but chose to be polite as he always was. He told himself that it was because he was a guy, but he wasn’t sure if he believed it. A lot of guys tended to drift away from Donovan. He didn’t know why. If Devlin would allow him to, Donovan wouldn’t mind being his friend, either. Maya was friendly, however, and she assured him that he would be fine. A smile was given to her in return for her comfort, even if at the time Donovan didn’t seem quite so certain.

It was Maya who stood up first for her introduction, and she confessed exactly what Donovan had suspected of her. The Royal Shakespeare Company had recruited her. It made Donovan glad for her, but also concerned and curious as to how a prestigious community theater had allowed him in from a single audition.

And he hadn’t even read the play when he read for a role. Donovan wouldn’t tell them that, but it was true.

Devlin went next, and the more Donovan listened to him the more he realized that it would be hard to form a friendship with the boy. He couldn’t explain to himself why distaste was forming, but he wasn’t going to allow it. Donovan never liked to judge people without truly knowing them. It was part of the reason why he tried so hard at everything he attempted. People judged him, too.

As soon as Devlin was finished, another young man rose from his seat. It was the one that Devlin had assumed was cast as Don John. He was tall with black short and spiky hair; he wore jeans, a tight buttoned shirt, and converse.

“Hey everyone,”
he said with a naturally warm smile. “I’m Kyle Westwood, and this is my third year here at the theater. I’m the asshole who was cast as Don John,” his face contorted into one of unbelievable madness, a sign that he could play villainous roles quite well despite his friendly demeanor, before it warmed again. Scattered applause and laughter. “I recently got placed on the waitlist for admission into the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts,” he hadn’t been accepted, but to be on the waitlist was a feat in itself. He crossed his fingers. “We’ll see,” he laughed, “and welcome newcomers.”

A nod, a smile, and he took his seat, shooting a grin at Devlin.

There was a pause after Kyle’s introduction, and Donovan found himself looking for the next person. His eyes instead met with Pam’s, who encouraged him to go next. The lady was too nice for the student to decline her wishes. Donovan gave a weak smile before rising to his feet. His shoes made that annoying squeaking sound.

His hand rose in greeting. “Err...hello. I’m Donovan Bukater and this is my first time doing a play. I play the role of Borachio,” it looked like that’s all Donovan wanted to say, but Pam encouraged him with a wave to keep going. “...Right. I play football for my school, London Academy of Science, and I’m two years short of graduating. I am excited to get to act and learn with you all.”

Before he could see if Pam wanted anything more of him, he took a seat. Others would go after him, surely – and hopefully other newcomers. Fortunately, they did. In time all the others were introduced and the scripts were passed out. It seemed like the only part of the evening that he wouldn’t like was over.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 02:22:38 am »
Maya couldn’t help but laugh a bit when Kyle showed off why he’d managed to steal the villain role from Devlin. Devlin stuck his tongue out at the man, but applauded nonetheless. They were friends, after all, and he held on to hope that Kyle would get into the academy. Devlin hadn’t tried out for such places. He wanted to get a degree in something that wasn’t so competitive, a Plan B, even though Maya had encouraged him. 

She had gone to King’s College, though several of her classes came from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. They were an affiliate. Maya had opted to go to a school where she could get better language skills, for singing often required her to have excellent pronunciation. It didn’t seem to do her any harm not to go to a specialized school, given her luck.

Maya’s own fingers crossed for Kyle.

Donovan followed, awkward and quick. Devlin managed not to laugh, though he wanted to tell the boy that they didn’t bite.
‘Well….’ Not completely true. Some of them bit. Those who didn’t bite were scarier, still. No, this boy had every right to be afraid. This was a group of sociopaths who could love you one second and put a knife in your back the next. He held on to a smirk.

Donovan would learn, one way or another. The others began to introduce themselves, their Hero and their Claudio, Don Pedro and all the others. Plenty were familiar faces. The script was passed out, and Devlin leaned towards Maya, pressing his shoulder against hers.
“Do you think Hero knows how to faint?” He already knew the story.

“No,” Maya answered. She was pretty sure Hero did not. She was a young seventeen year old woman, who almost always got stuck with the same roles, but Maya hadn’t seen her in a role where her character fainted. “We’ll teach her.” Fainting took practice, but it wasn’t difficult to master. Crying had always been harder for Maya to fake, but all the arts of falling were easy.

“Heh,” he set the script aside, “We know this already. C’mon.” He knew Maya loved Shakespeare, and he knew she would have lost herself to reading the script over already, to memorizing it. There was a reason she was scouted, after all.

Besides, Pam had said they should run through a few scenes. Devlin stood and Maya followed his lead. They walked out of the circle, ignoring any looks sent their way. Maya nodded to him, and he took it as a sign. Pick the scene, and begin. He stepped away, four steps, and then turned around.


‘Very well.’ He never could throw Maya for a loop, but he always tried. “What, my dear Lady Disdain!” He acted, as a man who had been pretending to ignore the presence of someone, and only now acknowledged them. His gaze turned to her and he stepped forward, “Are you yet living?” He squinted as if it were difficult to make out her appearance.

Maya’s eyes took on a wicked gleam, a woman victorious, and she spoke with haughty amusement,
“Is it possible that disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signoir Benedick?” Eyebrows lifted, as if he should have known she couldn’t possibly die while he lived, “Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.”

He mocked a scowl as he declared,
“Then courtesy itself is a turncoat!” He took another step, masterful blocking in his posturing as he shifted his body so he was addressing audience and cast alike, “But it is certain I am loved of all ladies,” a look to her, Beatrice and not Maya, “only you excepted.”

Beatrice’s smile remained, a nod allowed him to continue his rambling since he acknowledged that she did not love him,
“and I would, I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for truly, I love none,” a bow of the head, and that hand which he’d extended out to gesture to Beatrice, and then the others, was brought over his heart, as if he was truly bothered by this hard heart.

“A dear happiness to women,” she moved at last, came to stand besides Benedick and not Devlin. She touched his arm to draw his look up to her eyes, “They would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor,” he grinned and she drew her hand away, and did not mourn her own cold heart as she continued, “I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that,” a sigh as she thought of the dreadful alternative, “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” Anymore, it didn’t seem like so much of a lie, but she’d not say as much.

Benedick laughed,
“God keep your ladyship still in that mind, so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.”

Beatrice lifted her hand, as if to examine those nails, then looked up at Benedick. A bit of a pout that he seemed to think scratches bad,
“Scratching could not make it worse,"there was a smile on her lips at the prospect, though perhaps it was not the face Beatrice considered. "an 'twere such a face as yours were.”

Benedick grabbed her wrist, as if holding it might prevent the fate she seemed to have in mind. Beatrice appeared appropriately surprised and angered, but he complimented,
“Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.”

Beatrice played along rather than act in anger at his boldness. She returned it, she stepped forward, turning to fully face him, locking her eyes with his. The distance between them was intimate, a posture Maya took with few in life.
“A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.” She made sure it sounded like there was some sort of secret there in the phrasing. Close as they were, tongues were important to fixate on.

He didn’t fully concur,
“I would my horse had the speed of your tongue," a devilish smile, "and so good a continuer,” he confessed, before he let her hand go and stepped back, “But keep your way, i' God's name; I have done.” A dismissive gesture as he turned to rejoin his imaginary companions.

Maya huffed,
“You always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old,” disappointment, and she too, returned to where her companions would have been, when Don Pedro would have spoken now that Benedick and Beatrice got their reunion out of the way of other business.

They both then laughed, and Devlin couldn’t help but ask,
“How much do you bet I make Aeron jealous by the end of the show?”

‘Not even worth betting on.’
Not that Maya could say as much. “Good luck,” was what she said instead.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:56:35 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 03:18:58 am »
As soon as the last introduction was made, people began to congregate into groups so that they could run through a couple scenes while Pam observed them from outside. Maya and Devlin were quick to jump to their feet, and Donovan was anxious to see just how well the two of them did. He saw a lot of it, but he found himself approached by the one named Kyle, and he was being followed by another.

‘Oh right, I need to act, too.’

“Hiya Borachio,” greeted Kyle and Donovan almost waved, but thought it would be foolish. “You know Sander, right?” Donovan nodded, the one playing Conrade. “Good, why don’t we go through a scene together? Better get acquainted with how we interact with each other, you know, before we go to the theater.”

Both Donovan and Sander seemed to be mostly inexperienced, which might have explained why they got smaller roles. Kyle, however, was excellent at making the whole thing seem comfortable. Donovan took a few breaths to try and relax, and it seemed to work. Conrade and Don John began the scene, and it was quickly clear who the seasoned actor was. Conrade was believable in his role, but Sander was stumbling with the words. Despite his limited experience, Sander was also a quick learner.

Donovan would be the opposite. He could read it all perfectly now that he’d read the play a couple of times, but he wasn’t sure just how believable he would be.

‘Half the fight is learning it, right?’

He really had no clue.

“What news, Borachio?”

Kyle’s suddenly expectant look was enough for Donovan to realize that he was next.

‘Oh god.’

He lifted the script to where his lines were highlighted.

“I came yonder from a great supper,” he said inclining his head slightly in greeting, though his expression was that of mischief. Hungry for gossip. “The prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leonato, and,” his tone was a little dismissive about the name, but hinting towards something of greater importance, “I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.”

Bingo. Kyle seemed pleasantly surprised, but did not break character.

“Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?” Don John and Borachio shared a sly smile. “What is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquietness?”

The faithful follower looked like he could hold his tongue no more. “Marry, it is your brother’s right hand.”

Surprise, even if only briefly.

“Who? The most exquisite Claudio?”

“Even he.” Borachio gave his confirmation, though the delight left not his face.

“A proper squire!” said Don John ceremoniously, “And who, and who? Which way looks he?”

Claudio had only been the half of it, and Borachio was thrilled to say more. “Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.”

“A very forward March-chick!” Don John spoke decidedly. “How came you to this?”

Borachio then approached Don John, as if the topic had turned for a more intimate nature. “Being entertained for a performer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the price and Claudio,” Borachio’s brows rose and his hands moved as if signaling how the others had moved, “hand in hand in sad conference. I whipt me behind the arras, and there heard it agreed upon that the prince should woo Hero for himself,” feigned disbelief, “and having obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.”

Scandalous and severe.

“Come, come,” Don John motioned appropriately, “let us thither. This may prove food to my displeasure.” The man’s nose wrinkled. “That young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow. If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.” Borachio’s expression would render Don John’s next question unnecessary. “You are both sure, and will assist me?”

Sander stumbled, but caught on as Conrade. “To the death, my lord.”

“Let us to the great supper,” he then began to walk to where he would, “their cheer is the greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of my mind? Shall we go prove what’s to be done?”

Borachio gave a smile.

“We’ll wait upon your lordship.”

Donovan then breathed out. He made it seem as if he had been holding it in the entire time. He felt Kyle’s hand clasp on his back. For a moment he had forgotten that he was acting, and now everything seemed real again.

“You are full of surprises aren’t you?” He asked with a grin.

“How do you mean?” Donovan smiled, suddenly deprived of mischief, now shy.

“Academy of Science, football? Now your natural talent at this? I can see why you got cast, mate.”

Donovan thought Kyle ridiculous, but didn’t say so.

“Thanks?”

“How old are you anyway?”

“I’ll be sixteen this March.”

Kyle’s brows rose. “Like I said, full of surprises.”

Everyone began walking out of the room to head towards the theater right then. Donovan had turned slightly pink, but he managed to follow without much hassle. He caught sight of Pam as he walked, and she seemed pleased to see him. Donovan did not yet see just how talented he was.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 04:16:44 am »
Scenes were acted all around them, once Devlin and Maya got started. Devlin leaned on her to observe the others, catching their Hero and Claudio, and shifting to watch Kyle and the newbies. “I guess I’m not so unhappy. I wouldn’t want to deal with the novices so much,” he chuckled.

“Hmmm,”
Maya considered. “Donovan appears to be skilled, and Sander will develop.” Sander would need a bit more training, but Maya didn’t like to consider anyone hopeless. She was an outwardly, an optimist.

Devlin always wanted to hear other things.
“What about our Hero?” He found the name amusing.

“Patricia is good in these roles,”
she answered. “We just have to teach her to faint and she’ll pull it off wonderfully.” She played the damsel well. Maya could play it, she just didn’t prefer the role. Juliet, Ophelia, and all those akin to it were not her style. She acted as the weak woman enough in life.

There was movement from the room, towards the theater. Before she could step away, Devlin looped his arm around her,
“Come, dear Beatrice, we’ve plots to confound.”

“You mean you’ve a man to kill for me,” she grinned up at him.

He looked to Claudio’s actor, and he laughed,
“I wonder if he’s even read that far ahead.” Maya didn’t hazard a guess. Devlin and she moved easily onto the stage, and Devlin sat on the edge of it while Maya walked about the familiar floor. There weren’t any settings made up yet, it seemed. Of course, those would come as things went on, as would costumes. Ah, how Maya did love the costumes!

Maya spun on her heel to face the actress Patricia, and smiled at her. Since Pam hadn’t called them to attention, she decided to find out Devlin’s earlier question, and she walked over to her, spoke quietly,
“Do you know how to faint on command?”

Patricia vaguely recalled a bit later on in the script where Hero had to faint. She’d skimmed. She shook her head. Maya nodded.
“We’ll work on that later, then. It’ll be a simple drop.” That wasn’t how fainting was in real life, but she was pretty sure having Hero fall forward wouldn’t work out so well, as Beatrice was supposed to catch her during the wedding scene. It’d be easier if she just crumpled to the ground, or fell backward. 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:57:09 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2014, 04:51:28 am »
“Become familiar with this stage,” said Pam as she entered, spreading her arms. “This is where the magic will come to life, take it in! Enjoy it, darlings, and I assure you that this is the best place in town. Oh the life of theater!”

Donovan looked around, noting the grandeur of the theater. It made him nervous just to think that so many people would see him perform. He was used to that, actually, because of football – but that was different. People were looking at him, but Donovan wasn’t performing for anyone besides himself. He also did marvelous at working on his own. Despite the fact that football was a team sport, Donny found pleasure of focusing on himself during the game.

Kyle migrated to where Devlin and Maya entered the stage – he remained near the one who would play Benedick. “What do you think? Good haul this year, no?” He seemed pleased about all the new actors. Then again, he had always been more welcoming than Devlin. Still, there was potential with the new group.

Rehearsal began, but none of the scenes where Borachio made an appearance had been rehearsed yet. Things were moving slowly, but Donny didn’t mind. He stood by the side and admired the effortless performances of others. He could see immediately how Maya had been recruited into the Royal Company. She seemed so confident that there was no way he couldn’t admire her. Even how she spoke the lines impressed him – it was melodic in a way Donny only recognized in singers.

‘She probably does sing,’
he thought to himself.

Between different scenes, there was little time for relaxation. Not that Donovan was complaining. No, he was used to having little time to relax. In fact, such a thing was so rare that he could hardly recognize those moments anymore. He paid little thought to the possibility, and often didn’t acknowledge it.

“Alright, everybody, beautiful work,” said Pam, “let’s take five before we run through that again. It can always be better, and we must be excellent!”

The group disbursed and Donovan approached the edge of the stage and sat, fetching his phone. There was one message.

How is everything
going love?


Laura.

Donovan texted a response quickly, a smile absently forming on his lips.

Everything is fine.
I miss you.


And then his phone was put away.

Despite Kyle’s encouragement, Donovan still felt lost amidst all the people. There were friendly faces, like Kyle and Maya, but was it enough? He let his feet swing from the edge of the stage as he looked down. Several people had left to go to the bathroom during the break. Even though most of them remained, Donovan felt like the theater was empty. It wasn’t of course, but he didn’t feel comfortable. Not when he knew that he was forced to be there. He had a choice, but at the same time he didn’t. Not really.

Going against his mother’s wishes never ended well. Donovan wanted to please her, and she always looked so happy when he did. His father was just as critical, and  he always expressed just how much he expected of him.

Not once did his expression falter, however. To the ordinary eye, he was merely enjoying his time alone, just as happy to be there as anyone else. Donovan hid his discomfort well.

A buzz.

Are you sure?
I miss you too.


She sensed that something was bothering him. Donovan wouldn't admit to it.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 05:23:14 am »
“I think so,” Maya agreed.

“I’ll withhold judgment,”
Devlin answered Kyle. He was never as quick to judge as Maya…at least, not out loud. He judged just as fast, but his mind was more easily changed.

Maya was Maya no longer. If Angelus ever understood anything about her, it was how dear acting was to his sister. He always came to watch at least one of the shows, even when others didn’t. He’d see everything she was in.

Maya took on Beatrice’s flesh, and saw through Beatrice’s eyes as she acted in the role. She, Kyle, and Devlin were probably the best three who even got to be on the stage as they ran through things. She and Devlin didn’t bother with scripts, and at one point, Devlin purposefully went against what was in the script just to mess up everyone else. Maya played along, but the others stared hopelessly until Pam interrupted it before it could get too bad. A small lecture followed.

Then, it was back to the normal acting, until Pam called for a break.

Maya shook her head to shake off Beatrice, stretched.
“Why aren’t I playing Don John?”

“Because Kyle’s an asshole and you're female,”
was the answer she expected, the answer she wanted, “We could have all been villains.” There were three of them. She chuckled. “Then the whole play would have to be adapted, though. Maybe we could do the prequel—Don John and his minions.”

“Yell that next time you go watch the improv comedy,”
she suggested.

“They never do what I tell them,”
he frequented the cheap show, loved it. He had considered trying out to be involved with the theater’s improv group. “They wouldn’t have Elmo meet Hitler during a Japanese tea party.” Patricia passed him a strange look, having no idea what she’d just heard as she walked by. “They prefer sexual jokes.”

“So I’ve heard,”
Maya had only gone to one. She wanted to see more, but never could. Too immature. Too childish and unprofessional.

Devlin caught sight of the phone in Donny’s hand,
“Excuse me,” he had a rule, one he saw was followed. He leaned over Donovan, read the text over his shoulder, “You know,” he spoke loud so he’d be heard by others besides Donovan, “There’s a rule about having phones turned off and put far away until practice is done for the day.”

“That does remind me,”
Maya hopped off the stage. She had to call her brother.

“No! No, no, no, the phone is evil, Maya!”
This was why the rule was made.

“I just have to make a quick call to Ange.”

“Swear it!”

“I swear,” she answered.

Devlin frowned, but let her leave the theater. It wasn't so much that Maya spent a long time on the phone, but sometimes the phone summoned her away from practice. Devlin had decided the best way to combat that was to prevent her from having access to her phone.

Well, it was the first day.

She’d left her purse under a chair in the main room, following the rule without even thinking of it.

Devlin sat by Donovan.
“Girlfriend?” He decided to ask, since clearly he wasn’t going to get his way that day.


Maya found her purse exactly where she left it. She knew she ought to be more careful, but she was never worried here. It wasn’t until the phone was in her hand and ringing that she felt worry.

The voice on the other end greeted her.
“Hey,” she answered, “I can’t talk long, I just wanted…needed to say that I can’t be a part of the paintball tournament this weekend.” She paced the room a bit, feeling the anxiety.

His reaction was what she expected,
“No, it isn’t Aeron,” she lied, “I just got involved in another play, and there are a few more novices than usual. I have to help out over the weekend.” She was good at this, lying. Angelus had started calling her a professional, and he meant it as no compliment. “I’m sorry.” He cursed anyway. “I am.” He wasn’t hearing it, though. Maya sighed as he hung up with barely a good bye.

‘C’est la vie.’


She placed the phone back in her purse. Quick, as she’d promised Devlin.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:57:56 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 11:03:53 pm »
Donovan heard Devlin call from behind him, informing him of the rule to leave all phones away from the stage. He could see why a rule like that would be implemented in a theater. Distractions were never hood. He had not heard of that rule at all; Donovan would have remembered a rule like that. He was about to reply when Maya spoke, and a short but colorful conversation began between the two. It was clear to Donovan that these two were friends, and he assumed that Kyle was, too. By the time Donovan decided to turn, Devlin had already sat beside him.

The actor inquired after Laura. In a more intimate setting, Devlin seemed a lot friendlier than before. It was good to give people the benefit of the doubt.

“Yeah,”
said Donovan with a smile. “Her name is Laura. I’m sorry about the phone, though. I didn’t know about the rule. I’ll go put it away.” Donovan gave Devlin a crooked smile before jumping out of the stage and jogging out of the theater.

Kyle replaced Donovan’s presence by Devlin. “You’re the asshole, mate,” he greeted with a grin. “And don’t lie, you wanted the part of Benedick. Be careful, he might snatch it from you.” He teased as he motioned with his head towards the door that Donny had just walked through.

Laura would not be happy about having her texts go unanswered, so as Donny walked back to the room where he had left his bags, he flipped his phone open.

I’m sure. Gotta go,
phones aren’t allowed
at rehearsal. I’ll text
you when I’m out.


With his phone now closed an in his pocket, Donovan could overhear Maya in what seemed like a disagreement, however tamed. He had not meant to intrude upon her privacy, but he also couldn’t really forget what he had already suspected. He had not heard details, but as he emerged into the room, one good look at her confirmed that something was not right. Like his, Maya’s own expression was like a mask. He had waited a bit before going inside, of course, lest Maya think he was eavesdropping.

Donovan wasn’t, though he did wonder if his mask was just as good as hers.

“Hey,”
he said as he reached for his gym bag and unzipped it open, tossing his phone inside quickly. Standing up straight, he was several inches taller than her. “All right?” His question was general, but it was meant that way. Perhaps Maya needed someone to talk to. Or perhaps she was just like him, hesitant to speak of certain things freely.

It would explain the mask. 

Donny made his way to the door, wondering if they were to walk back to the theater together. If Maya needed some time to herself, he would notice and go on without her. Whatever troubles she might have had, they were no longer visible.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 12:35:49 am »
Devlin smiled as the information was received. He was pleased for the shared information, “It’s my rule,” he admitted, “Unofficial, but it helps.” It really did, too. Maya didn’t get dragged off half as often because of it, unless Aeron actually showed up early. Usually, he wouldn’t, no matter how important it was.

Kyle was soon setting where Donovan had been as the kid ran off. Devlin smirked,
“Hey, I never denied being an asshole. I said 'other',” he did want to be Benedick, of course, “That kid won’t steal the role from me.” He was confident in his own skill, but also in the dynamic he and Maya could bring when their characters were to interact. There was a natural comfort between them, developed through years of playing variously close roles. It was funny, really. He knew Maya from theater, but in truth, he didn’t know much about her outside of the basics. “But what are you doing as the Don, anyway?” He figured Kyle would want a more prominent role.

~***~

There was a voice as the phone was slipped back into the purse, and Maya glanced over, the mask already in place. It was only Donovan, expected, as he was called out for having his own phone. They both straightened up, and Maya noted he was taller than she realized. He asked a curious question, though Maya admitted to herself she wouldn't have thought it curious at all were it not for the conversation she'd just had. Paranoia was a vicious beast. Maya did wonder if he’d heard, or if her own mask was slipping.

Even so, she admitted nothing,
“Of course,” brief confusion, before she smiled, asked in turn, “Are you?” as she came to the door with him, planning to walk back as well lest he had reason not to continue on. Some people, she’d found, asked that question only because they wanted to talk about their own problems. Those who knew her, knew she was often polite enough to reciprocate such a thing. 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:58:35 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 09:58:07 pm »
Kyle smiled as he shook his head. Of course the new kid would not steal Devlin’s role, despite how talented he might have been. Kyle knew just how rare the chemistry between Maya and Devlin was on stage, and he couldn’t mirror that himself. He could play any role, sure, but there was something in Devlin that made him the perfect Benedick, just as there was something in Maya that made her the perfect Beatrice.

“He seems a good kid,” he said with a shrug, turning his attention to the question thrown his way. “I want to take it easy this season,” he said leaning back and supporting himself with his hands, “I want a replaceable role in case I get called away.” Being admitted into the Academy would do such a thing, and he hoped it would happen despite the wonderful times he’d spend inside that theater.

Just as he had in the practice room, he crossed his fingers with a grin.

***

Maya claimed that she was alright, but Donovan was not so quick to believe her. There was no real reason to suspect, after all. He did smile warmly at her when she walked towards him so that they could walk back to the theater together, briefly wondering if her question was her merely being polite, or if she had noticed something strange in him, too. ‘She couldn’t have,’ he thought to himself. No one ever did.

Donovan gave them no room to. Ever.

“All right.” Donovan confirmed without letting his brief confusion show on his face.

They walked back towards the theater together, and Donovan quickly decided that he didn’t feel comfortable without his phone. He depended on it so much; his schedules were all arranged there, and all of the people who needed to contact him did so mainly from there. His hand absently reached for his pocket, despite the fact that he knew that his phone wasn’t there.

“Have you got any advice for a newcomer? I still feel a little lost, and now I feel especially vulnerable without my phone.” He asked with a smile, for he knew that his insecurities made no sense. He was almost certain that the next section of rehearsal would demand a lot more of him than the first half, and he liked to tell himself that he was ready. Donovan wasn’t really sure if he was, though. He would welcome any advice he could get. 


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 10:31:23 pm »
Devlin lifted one shoulder up in a shrug at the statement that Donovan seemed like a good kid. He would make no judgment call just yet. He looked visibly disappointed at what Kyle had to say. Of course, he wanted good for him. He wanted Kyle to succeed. Even so, “You abandon us and I’ll never forgive you,” half-kidding. He’d understand, much as he would have understood if Maya abandoned them immediately.

She didn’t, though. She even held one of the most prominent roles in the play.
“You’ll get in though, in all seriousness. You’re too good to pass up. They’re just playing hard to get.” He then noticed the return of Maya and Donny, and jumped to his feet.

~***~

Donovan mirrored her words, and Maya knew better. Mirroring was a trick she’d tried to discard. It was simple, thoughtless, and in that way, easier to see through. Even so, there would be no pressing it, just a smile and a nod. Lies were currency, here.

She noted the reach for his phone, and did not smile, though she wanted to. Maya recalled how much she used to miss her own phone, before she’d learned it was a bit of a saving grace to not have it attached to her at all times. If it wasn’t Aeron calling, it was Angelus, or her mother, and she got so tired of listening to the three of them.

Donny asked advice,
“Well, I can’t say much about the phone,” Maya said. “I missed mine when Devlin created that ‘rule’ for the entirety of our practices. It just takes time to get used to being separated from it.” The other bit, though, she wasn’t sure how to answer.

“As for advice, well, I took to this as a fish does water so I’m not sure how helpful I can be,”
though she did recall one bit of advice that had influenced her from that point on. “I’d say the best thing you can do is learn to live by the words there are no mistakes. Play off any mistake. They will happen in practice, and they will happen on stage. If you can learn to play them off as if they were always part of the script, you’ll find it goes easier for everyone.” No stuttering and being embarrassed. "There are people like Devlin who will actively try to make you mess up, and you don't want to give him the satisfaction."

As they returned, Devlin hopped back to his feet,
“Your phones gone?”

“Yes,” she answered. 

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2014, 12:28:05 am »
Kyle laughed, though he was sure that Dev was only half kidding. A lot of people wouldn’t be too happy about his departure, but he knew that they were all supportive. “You’ll get over it,” he joked with a smile. “At least Maya didn’t leave us, and she’s already been recruited into the Company. She’s good,” but everyone knew that already. Maya, Dev, and he were often the people who were regarded as the best.

Kyle was used to this.

He only smiled when Devlin said that he was too good to pass up. Kyle hoped that it was true, and although he was confident in his own skills, getting into the Academy was something that even the best not often accomplished. When he caught sight of Maya and the new kid coming back, he simultaneously jumped to his feet, just as Dev did.

***

They walked together comfortably, and Donny was especially happy to hear that the feeling of vulnerability would fade. He had suspected that it would, but it was nice to hear that it wasn’t an uncommon feeling. When the actual advice came, Donny listened. He had gotten a feeling that Devlin would be one of those people who would purposefully try and mess up some of the new kids. Perhaps he had already personally targeted him.

“Thank you,” he said just as they arrived and were greeted by both Devlin and Kyle.

Donny nodded his head. “Safely put away,” he confirmed, though the thought of Laura lingered with him. Kyle offered an encouraging smile to Donny as they arrived, one that the young man returned, but the feeling of being an outcast persisted. The three people Donny found himself with were likely the best in the theater. He felt comfortable with Maya, but the same could not be said for the others.

Thankfully Pam coming back into the theater was enough of an excuse for Donny to be the first to go back onstage. The second half of the rehearsal would soon start, and Donny was eager to get it over with. The constant exhaustion he pushed aside to continue his endeavors was catching up with him.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2014, 02:31:51 am »
Phone gone, Maya approached the stage and lifted herself onto it, rather than go to the stairs. “Behave,” she told Devlin before he could get another word in. Pam was back. Practice would be resuming. He smiled, aware that she understood he would do just the opposite if told that. It had started one of those never ending arguments.

‘But if I know that you know that I know that you thought….’


What Maya actually wanted of him was unclear, but for the night he would behave, more Kyle than Maya making him consider that. Kyle had hopes for these kids, and Devlin would let their first practice be peaceful. He made no promises for future ones. He wanted to catch them all off guard to see if they could respond on their feet.

Besides, there wasn't much he could do to mess with them in these first couple of scenes.

It was one thing to memorize lines and motions, and quite another to act, in his opinion, and it all stemmed from ad-libbing.

They were able to work through the first scenes, but they did not complete the first act of Shakespeare’s play by the time it was necessary to call it quits. Donovan was able to play his role for them, though he did not truly get to reveal the colors of his character. The one playing Antonio needed a bit of help through the scene in his role so they were never able to truly begin scene three.

The night ended, and all were dismissed. Part to annoy Devlin, and part because she was anxious, Maya took up her phone and checked it immediately. No messages.
‘Good.’ Always a good sign. 

“See, the world still goes on without you, Maya. Truth of the universe,” Devlin said.

Maya rolled her eyes,
“Yes, yes, I know.” Phone was returned to purse. She didn’t send a text on to Aeron, though the thought briefly crossed her mind.

“Do you need a ride back home?”
He didn’t know where she lived, but he did know that Maya didn’t have a car. He wasn’t sure if she knew how to drive or not. He knew that Angelus did. He’d seen Angelus before, never really met him. He’d come a couple times to pick Maya up. He always looked agitated when he did.

“Aeron is going to pick me up,”
Maya answered Devlin, “I’ll see you next time,” she told him.

He smiled, nodded, and left for his own red car. Maya moved to step outside and wait, knowing it would be best to be there when Aeron arrived. The rain felt nice, anyway. She bid the others farewell as they went to their own vehicles, or left with their rides.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2014, 07:46:29 am »
The second half of the rehearsal was better than the first. Donovan was able to speak, though he couldn’t really develop anything more than the introductory verses of his character. The more that they went through the scenes, the more Donovan realized that he was enjoying himself. When people were having trouble with their lines, he gave them encouraging smiled. Donny was patient, quick, and surprisingly prepared.

When it was time for rehearsal to end, Donovan made his way from the stage to fetch his things from the practice room. The first thing he did was check his phone, for he was aching to see if he had any messages. As soon he did, however, he sighed. There were many messages, and from a variety of different people. This was not unusual, but Donny found himself hoping to have a pleasant evening anyway, and not a busy one.

Laura’s were the first checked.

It makes sense.
Have a good
rehearsal Donny.


And another.

Call me when
you get home,
please.


Next was text from his father, Clark.

I’ll be home late,
son. Tell your mother.


Of course he’d be late.

Then there was his agent, who had sent him an essay.

Mr. Bukater, you
have a photoshoot
scheduled for
tomorrow morning,
I have pushed your
other appointments
back. You’re excused
from your morning
classes. I cleared it with
your mother. Be
ready by 5:00 AM.


And then, his mother.

Donny, I’ll be a
little late picking you
up, darling. Your
father hasn’t gotten
home. I’m going
to his office.


More texts regarding school and homework followed, which made Donovan close his eyes. It was a Wednesday night, which meant that the next day he would have school and practice after that. He had busy days ahead of him, and there was absolutely nothing he could do. He closed his phone and slipped it into his pocket, grabbing his gym bag and other belongings before making his way back to the front where most people had already left.

In fact, he could only see Maya outside in the rain. He stepped out, deciding that it would be best if he waited where he could at least enjoy the rain. Donny gave Maya a smile as he leaned against the wall by the driveway where cars would stop to pick people up. He let himself fall with his things at his side. He rested his head back, as if he were looking at the gloomy sky – his eyes, of course, were closed. The drizzle felt good against his skin.

“Long day,” he mumbled to himself.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 07:57:00 am »
Maya only glanced at Donovan when he stepped out. She did not engage him, was not sure if she ought to. Time would tick by. Maya was used to waiting. Though Aeron refused to allow others to pick her up, he was not the best with timing. It was the source of arguments, which always stirred from the innocent question.

‘How long were you waiting?’

Aeron was paranoid about how Maya spent her time.

She was, in that way, grateful that Kyle and Devlin had left. The only male left was Donovan, a child, really. Aeron couldn’t accuse her of anything.
‘Well, he can.’ He had. Guilty conscious.

Each second was one enjoyed, and one feared. Each second was another moment where Maya could be doing something Aeron disapproved of. Perhaps if it was clear she’d been outside this whole time, he would not let his paranoia get the best of him.

Donovan spoke, and she let her gaze leave the endless night to look at him. He did seem tired. Exhausted, really.
‘What is on your plate?’ She knew he had to be in school. No doubt, he played football. There had to be more than that, though, or so her mind imagined. She had always had a full plate, she understood the weight of several extracurricular activities. “You did well, though.” In spite of whatever else he had to do. “I’m glad you were recruited.”

Sincere compliments, but also pointless. Directionless. Chatter for chatter’s sake. That was how things usually were, though. Asking questions tended to press towards friendship, and much as Maya might want these things, she’d gotten into the habit of keeping others out of her personal life.

Even so, she asked,
“Is someone on their way to pick you up?” She had seen him check his phone. It had only been clear that he had messages, unlike herself. She did hope he’d gotten word from someone that they were on their way, or going to be late.

Maya never got word on such things. She was just expected to wait, even if that meant an hour.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2014, 03:46:02 am »
When Maya spoke, Donovan found it harder to open his weighing eyes. All he wanted to do was just rest, to sleep without having to worry about the repercussions that would take place if he had a single day of only relaxing. There was no such thing in his life. Only weekends allowed for time to relax, and those days had been booked for casting calls and modeling jobs. Was this all his life was meant to be, just the inexhaustible pursuit for success?

Donovan did chuckle, though. Maya was uncommonly kind, and Donovan appreciated what he thought was an undeserved compliment.

“Well enough for my first time, anyway,” he seemed to agree with a crooked smile, but it was clear that the boy’s own expectations of himself were higher than most. “I liked it more than I thought I would. I don't know how to describe it, but it's like I can forget what is happening outside of the theater. I can feel that when I play football, so maybe that is why.”

Donovan laughed, not entirely realizing just what he was saying.

He definitely liked it more than he did modeling. Donovan knew that it was a field where artists were drawn to, but he hated feeling judged merely based on his looks. Why did people think less of him? Why did people look down on him intellectually? Donovan was just as capable of carrying a conversation as the rest of them. In fact, the young boy was quickly beginning to realize just how much he hated that part of his life.
Then Maya voiced a question.

“My mum,” he said with a smile. She was complicated, mad, and completely difficult, but he loved her regardless. “She will be a while still, I think. What about you? Not a very big fan of driving, or do you have someone that picks you up?”

Donovan told himself that this was only polite conversation.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2014, 07:09:19 am »
It was easy enough to tell that Donovan did have high standards. Maya had them herself and recognized it in him. She also shared his thoughts on acting—it was a fantastic escape. She didn’t share that, though.

With his laughter, she offered,
“My brother feels the same about paint ball. He loses himself and the world when he plays.” He’d fit in well in a zombie apocalypse. “So it is a common sensation. Sports and acting are useful ways to relax the mind.”

His mom was picking him up, and she nodded. It suited, given his age. When he mentioned it would be a while, she looked his way with concern, but didn’t get to ask why. A question came from him, and she smiled, seeing the headlights cut through the dark and rain.
“My fiancé, Aeron, picks me up,” she answered, “I never had time to learn how to drive,” sad fact of her life. Her brother could drive perfectly, but she’d always been too busy to ever try. She’d remedy it, one day. Hopefully.

The black car with the headlights stopped at the stairs, and Maya recognized it easily as Aeron’s,
“You have a good night, Donovan,” she said as she moved from where she waited as the car door opened and out stepped Aeron. He didn’t walk to the steps, though. “If you ever do need a ride to your home, Devlin could get you there safely.” Aeron would never hear of that with her. He was beyond jealous of Devlin. “Good night,” she wished again before walking down the stairs and meeting Aeron at the bottom.

His hand moved to her back and he seemed to help guide her around the car and to the passenger side. He asked quietly,
“Who is that?”

“Donovan,” she answered, “He’s still in secondary school,” she felt tension leave his hand. “He is waiting for his mum.”

“Ah, I see,” he let his eyes lift to Donovan before he opened the door to the passenger side. The kid bothered him not at all. “How long were you waiting?” He asked as she sat down.

“Not long at all. Five minutes, perhaps,”
she’d never say longer than that. The door shut and Aeron walked back around to his side, opened the door and took off from the theater without another look back at Donovan. “I called Angelus,” she mentioned, thinking this would be good news, “I let him know I will not be able to make it to paintball.”

“When did you find the time for this?”


“There was a break between scenes.”
It was reasonable, rational, but she could tell from the way his brow knit he didn’t like the idea of free time. She shifted the subject, “How is the Montgomery case going?” He was the prosecutor as per usual. It was an issue of stolen information via the use of a computer virus. More or less open and shut.

“Well,” he answered, adding nothing to it. “How long are these breaks?”

“The time varies…there’s no schedule. I’ve told you this before,”
several times. There was no schedule by which she could contact Aeron while in practice. “I’m still not allowed to have my phone on me during practice, either.”

“A stupid rule,”
he hated it, “As if the civic theater is important enough to ignore a life for.” And then he smiled, “Well, I suppose none of them really have lives to worry over. They couldn’t understand.”

“No, they couldn’t,”
Maya just agreed. It was easier that way. 

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 01:02:00 am »
Donovan offered a smile at Maya’s words. She was engaged, and for some reason, Donovan was surprised. She didn’t seem so to him – or at least he had not gotten that impression from her. A black car came into the front of the theater, and Donovan knew that it was time for him to be alone. Maya showed concern for his ride, but the young boy readily shook his head. There was never really anything to worry about. At least that is what he told himself.

Despite the efforts to try and exploit every possible talent Donovan might have had, his parents were too protective of him. It was a strange and confusing balance.

“It’s alright,” he said to Maya with a shrug, “I don’t mind waiting. Good night.”

He treasured those minutes where he had nothing else to do. They were more valuable and more precious than any diamond to him. It was with that comforting feeling that he waved towards Maya as the car moved on out of the driveway and towards the street.

Donovan let his head rest against the brick wall behind him once more, enjoying the drizzle as it collided with his skin. It would still be over and hour before his mother arrived in a silver Benz to pick him up. The headlights made him open his eyes, and the sight of the familiar car warranted a sigh of relief. Donovan had only just started to worry about his mother, and it seemed like it was always in that moment of worry when she decided to arrive.

The driver’s car door opened just as Donovan rose from his sitting position, his mother opening a large black umbrella and making her way towards him in order to meet him halfway. “Good lord, Donny, you're soaking wet,” said she upon reaching him, raising the umbrella higher so that Donny and she could walk together back to the car. A quick kiss was planted on Donovan’s cheek while a hand cradled the side of his face, wiping away the water. He hadn’t even realized that it was now pouring outside. “Why didn’t you wait inside, darling?”

“I think it’s locked now, mum,” explained Donovan, meeting his mother’s gaze.

Ella Bukater was a beautiful woman, sure, but age lines were already appearing on her face. She seemed just as exhausted as Donovan, perhaps even more so. Her voice was still sweet – concerned. 

“I’m so sorry, my dear boy,” she excused herself, wrapping an arm around his back as they both made their way back to the car. “I just needed to see your father tonight, he’s leaving for Germany tomorrow, and there were just some things we needed to take care of. He won’t be back until late next week.”

“Everything alright?”

Ella smiled.

“Of course, darling. Now get inside, we need to get home and sleep. We have an early and long day tomorrow.”

Once the two were inside, the car left the parking lot. It would not return there until the coming Monday.

***

The following days merged together with one full schedule after another. Donovan got only the sleep that was absolutely necessary, and endured the toughest practices in his football career yet. He had expected the weekend practices to be burdening, but they proved especially difficult regardless of the anticipation. When Monday afternoon presented itself, Donovan was pleased to have an evening where people weren’t yelling at him or snapping pictures of him.

‘I can relax.’


Laura had not been able to drop him off that day, so a mate on his team did so immediately after practice. Donovan waved to him appreciatively as he approached the familiar theater, almost running. He was late, but not by very much. Practice had run long. They wouldn’t punish him for that, would they?

Once inside, Donovan rushed to the rehearsal room, dropped off his things, made his way back to the main theater, and stepped in.

“Sorry I’m late.”

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 03:35:44 am »
“Mom….”


Maya wished she had gone to the paintball game when the weekend was over, and she found herself with an injury that was difficult to cover up. It would have ended the same either way, and at least if she went to the game she would have had fun.

Usually, Aeron was smart. He ensured he would only wound her where it wouldn’t be seen.


“What did I do wrong?”


He’d been careless, and she’d been stupid. She knew it started in telling Aeron about the play and who played who. That escalated, Aeron’s hatred of Devlin flaring up. She knew at some point she yelled something she shouldn’t have about his late nights at the office. Somewhere in there had been a threat of doing just what Aeron feared she already did, something about karma and evening out, and then it happened.

It wasn’t unexpected. It never was, anymore.

Aeron stormed out. Maya called her mother, and as always, was informed of all the things she’d done wrong, and all the things she needed to do to make it better. Her mother was the one to teach her how to cover the wounds that showed, and those methods had been applied that Monday morning before her classes. She hadn’t had a chance to check it since, didn’t know the damage the rain had done as it washed down her cheek, her neck, to uncover the marks left around her neck.

It was still Aeron who dropped her off, and he didn’t notice the sight. He expected it, after all, and forgot that others shouldn’t. Besides, her hair obscured the dark marking so that when she entered the theater on time, no one seemed to notice. At least, none commented.

Donovan was late, though. They all moved into the rehearsal room without him, and opted to start at the beginning so that they could ensure those were well known. When Donovan entered, they did pause.
“No worries, just remember to bring donuts next time,” Devlin called to him. Rules, “We didn’t get to you yet, though last time we were close to that scene, weren’t we?”

Maya nodded,
“Yes. Let’s finish up with this one and pick up where we left off last time.”

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2014, 07:40:46 am »
“Gotcha,” said Donovan, unsure of whether Devlin was serious about the donuts. He smiled regardless as he rushed to the stage and stood on the side until it was his turn to perform. He was pleased to see that the others seemed happy that he had decided to come back this week.

Donovan was happy, too.

The scene in which they were on took a little more time than Donovan thought. Perhaps Pam was being particularly critical that evening. Donovan wasn’t so sure. He admired both Maya’s and Devlin’s performance, as he had last time, but something was strange this time around. Donovan couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he suspected that it was something outside of the acting. Perhaps something that affected the acting with subtlety.

When it was time for Donovan to perform, he did so comfortably. His lines left his mouth naturally, and he had become his character so effortlessly that it even surprised him. Kyle was also a great asset when it came to this, for he was both helpful and remarkably easy to work with. Pam seemed to be very pleased with the progress that they were making, and was especially keen on expressing her surprise and excitement towards the roles.

“Great, great job,” said Pam, clapping her hands together as she always did. She moved about the stage with her fingers on her chin, as if she were thinking something wonderful. “I think this calls for a break,” her hand reached for both Kyle and Donovan, “excellent, excellent, excellent!” She squeezed each of their shoulders. “Okay,” another clap, “be back in ten!”

“Good work, mate,”
said Kyle, giving Donovan a grin. “You might want to consider a career in this.”

Donovan laughed. “No, I don’t think I could.” He admitted, but appreciated the gesture regardless. A soccer career seemed more appealing to him. Then again, Donovan had always wanted to take the academic route, too.

“You never know,” said Kyle with a wink. “You might be surprised.”

The young scholar gave a shrug and a smile. “Maybe,” he said with a chuckle. Then his eyes landed on Maya, and he waved to her as he approached. “How was your weekend?”

He would have asked before rehearsal, had he not been late.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2014, 08:08:50 am »
Devlin was always serious about donuts.

Maya never let the incidents at home come into her acting, or at least, she tried. She played her role well, even though it was one she was not comfortable in that day. It was also everything she wanted all at once—to scorn love and all suitors. She was annoyed enough with Devlin, too, though nothing was his fault.

No, the fault lied with her. She was the only one who could make any changes to the situation, as her mother reminded her. It could be better.
‘One day.’

It was distracting, though. She kept wanting to go check her phone, wanted to make sure she didn’t inadvertently upset Aeron by missing a call.
‘But if I check it during practice….’ An unending cycle.

Still, Devlin was happy with their interactions, and Pam was delighted with them all around despite the constant stops and repeats. Maya smiled at her enthusiasm, glanced to Devlin and arched a brow.
“We’ll see,” he said. He would remain unconvinced for a while yet.

Maya nodded, accepting that answer as the best she’d get.
“If he doesn’t bring donuts, though….” And she laughed at that implied threat.

“I’ll be back,”
she said, and would have walked off but Donovan stopped her with a question.

‘Oh, yes.’ That. “My weekend was all right,” she answered, sought for a lie that would make it more convincing, a half-truth to make it seem like things happened.

There was nothing she could think of immediately, so she asked instead,
“How was your weekend?” Curious. Perhaps if he said something, Devlin would latch on to it and she could escape to check her phone.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2014, 07:59:39 pm »
“Busy,” he said with a crooked smile, but that wasn’t so surprising – not to him. His weekends were always busy. In fact, his schedule was not going to get any better in the coming days, which prompted him to want to go to the rehearsal room to go and check his phone. He probably had a message from his agent, detailing what it was that awaited him the following day. Donovan visibly frowned at this realization, and then his eyes found the half-covered mark on Maya’s neck.

His eyes did not stay long there at all, but instead looked to the floor. His stomach tensed, sensing that something wasn’t quite right. Could this have been the reason? Her performance was excellent, as always, but something was different anyways. It was also different in between scenes.

‘She probably just took a fall.’

And then a rogue thought.

‘And hit her neck?’

“Why the long face?” Asked Sander, the one who played Conrade.

“I just realized that I should probably check my phone,” said Donovan, half-lying.

“Already? It’s our first break,” Sander made it seem like Donovan’s behavior was unusual.

Donovan nodded his head. “I…need to go see what my schedule is like tomorrow.” In no time, what little concern had been on his expression was now nonexistent. Donovan knew how to hide things well, and he would use this excuse to go to the rehearsal room and think with a clear head. “I’ll be right back,” he smiled naturally to the others before darting out of the theater.

He reached the rehearsal room in seconds, and his hands quickly fetched the gym bag that held all of his things. Donovan placed it on the chair, but instead of reaching into it for his phone, he simply sat down as well. He let his eyes close and his heaving chest catch his breath.

‘What the hell happened?’

The question in his mind was both directed to Maya and to himself.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2014, 09:03:33 pm »
Maya chuckled at the comment, “Well, that’s what happens when you overload on extracurricular activities,” she noted. “If you’ll excuse me,” she gave a nod to him, and didn’t look to Devlin.

She could feel him rolling his eyes, and saw the shift in his weight to show his disapproval. He knew she was going to check her phone.
“Addicted,” he muttered under his breath, only to hear that Donovan was going to do the same thing. He commented to Sander, “Kids and their phones, man. It’s an epidemic,” even though he was within their age range. “We need to destroy them all.”

But Donovan was gone, and so was Maya.


Maya did check her phone, and was relieved to find the only messages were from Angelus, until she read one of them that claimed he was picking her up that day.
‘Like hell you are.’ She sent a quick text back, informing him that Aeron was doing just that.

The last thing she needed was for those two to come in contact with each other today.

She took a seat just as Donovan walked in. She imagined he would check his phone, too, but instead he seemed to just collapse into his chair. A half-smile. He looked so exhausted there, too.
“You all right?” A question she immediately regretted. “You just look so tired—are you that busy?” She clarified quickly, hoping the first of the questions would be ignored and the latter answered instead.

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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2014, 10:13:37 pm »
‘Maya?’

Had she left the theater before he had? She must have, for Donovan heard her speak and was surprised that she was there already. He let his eyes open, searching for her, and his back straighten up against the chair. Maya’s question, though unexpected, was appreciated in a way that Donovan could not explain. Nobody seemed to ask him that these days, they just assumed that he would get through it as he did everything else. She did not allow him time to answer, however, because she was quick to amend her query into something more direct.

“It is good to be busy,”
he tried to spin his exhaustion into something positive. He rose from his chair and opened up his gym bag, fetching his phone but not yet opening it. He was slightly afraid to. “I can handle all the stress. I’m just wired that way.” That small part slipped from him, but his expression did not falter. “Thanks, though.” Donovan was still grateful for her concern, even if it was her just being polite. “Are you all right?” Perhaps it was a thing to mirror the questions between the two of them, for Donovan vividly remembered that was the strategy she chose the last time they spoke.

And he couldn’t ignore that bruise on her neck. Another game of masks was going to happen. Donovan could sense it.

“You’ve got something on your neck…” he liked to believe he was believable in his innocence, but he could tell that Maya was very perceptive. He furrowed his brows, but couldn’t help but look towards her with concern.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2014, 11:22:36 pm »
Maya saw that moment of appreciation, and watched it flicker and die. Even so, he answered the new question asked. It was a trained answer. ‘Busy’ was a good thing to be, a thing someone was meant to appreciate in a world where so many didn’t have the opportunities that these two had.

He took his phone out, but didn’t open it.
‘Uh huh.’ She doubted his words about being ‘wired’ to handle stress. What it really meant was that he’d lived in stressful circumstances for a while, that perhaps he knew nothing else. ‘You are making assumptions.’ She wasn’t often wrong, though. She smiled, “You’re welcome.”

Her phone vibrated in her hand and she glanced down at it as Donny asked his question.


Like hell I’m not.


He did like to mirror her.
“Oh, I’m fine,” she said, typing back her response. “My brother is just being a nuisance,” it would explain irregularities. It would explain the present look she was giving to her phone.

Friday. You can pick me up
Friday. I’ll stay the
weekend.


She would appease him. She might have to cancel that, but it would put it off.

Donovan made a comment that caused her to look up from the phone, startled. She brushed her hair back over her shoulder and used the phone’s surface to try and see the mark.
‘All day coverage my foot.’ “Ah, so I do.” And without explaining what it was, she reached down into her purse and pulled out her compact, as well as a bit of liquid foundation. She dabbed that on first, using the compact’s mirror, before calmly applying the powder to even out the colors and blend them so it matched her skin hue.

The concern was burning through her, though. She had to say something.
“Paintball,” she said, the lie she’d come up with if it was necessary. “My brother loves it. We lost the last game. It’s why he’s been annoying me. More practice.”

It was a feasible lie. It flowed well with everything else she’d said. 


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2014, 11:37:46 pm »
Donovan witnessed Maya’s reaction to his words, and was somehow convinced that he had pointed out the wrong thing in that moment. Some things were better left unsaid, but Donovan felt the need to seek an explanation for such an unusual bruise location. Maya resorted to make up to try and hide it, something that the boy didn’t quite understand. He suspected that perhaps it was a girl thing, since boys wouldn’t usually hide away bruises. Girls would, if it had been an embarrassing moment.

When he heard her explanation, however, Donovan tried to hide his concern but knew that she was lying. That much was for certain.  There was nothing shameful about playing paintball, and the bruises earned in such events were often prizes and signs of great effort. Besides that, Donovan had listened in to her brief conversation with her brother last time.

She had definitely canceled her plans with her brother, and now here she was, excusing the bruise away.

“Oh,” Donovan spoke after some time, finding the opportunity to open his phone as a great distraction, “that makes sense.” Nope. He looked over his unsurprising messages, all the while debating whether or not he should confront Maya about her lie. She clearly wasn’t ready to talk about what had happened to her, and this defiance made Donovan think of bad scenarios. Those that would gave her reasons that held motive enough to try and hide the bruise.

Donovan tried to not make it obvious that he knew she was lying, for a fear of being confronted himself. Perhaps this was just all in his head, and there was no reason to believe that someone had actually purposefully harmed her. ‘Great.’ The thought was now completely unwelcomed but still ever-present in his mind. He decided to ignore it for the moment, but he knew that even if he didn’t mean to, he would be paying a much closer attention to Maya.

He needed out.

“See you back in the theater,”
he said as he closed and put away his phone before turning around and making his way back.

‘Damn it, Donovan.’

He hadn’t even replied to his messages. They would have to wait until he had coped with whatever troubles his mind was imagining.


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Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2014, 12:00:48 am »
There had been numerous times when Maya wasn’t believed about paintball. She didn’t look like the sort, and truth told, she hadn’t thought it would be enjoyable until her brother got her into a game of laser tag first, all those years ago.

She almost hated her brother for it, for showing her a life outside of hers.

When people didn’t believe she played the sport, they laughed or tried to get her to be ‘honest’. Donovan’s reaction was not that, but there was no denying the hint of doubt all the same. Hyper-paranoid about the wound, her mind jumped at the possibility that he knew.
‘But how?’ Impossible. She’d never met Donovan until now, and he knew nothing of her. There was no reason for him to suspect anything, was there? ‘Not everyone reacts like Devlin or Jasmine.’

Compact closed. Maya was satisfied with the work. There were times she thought to ask her mother how she learned, but never did. She never suspected it was her father who made such a thing a necessary skill for her mother’s life. He never seemed abusive—quite the opposite, really. He was a bit of a push-over.


“Not really,” she stated to his ‘makes sense’ comment. “It was supposed to be against the rules to aim above the chest.” Not that it didn’t happen. On one very bad day, she’d aimed for the head, and Angelus had yelled at her for it. “It’s safer than it sounds. Usually.” She put the compact away as Donovan rose and noted his destination, the theater. “K!” She would see him there.

The phone lit up again, and Maya checked the text.


Friday.


Grudging agreement in the one word.
‘And now to come up with a fabulous lie for why we can’t meet Friday.’

See you then.


Phone was dropped without care into the bag.

Yes, at times, she did despise Angelus for the freedom he had, and the lifestyle he was comfortable living.

With a deep breath and a minute, Maya returned to the theater as well.