He sat down with his foot up at Dr. Cooper’s insistence. Mrs. Cooper brought him a cold drink, an ice pack and a two aspirin.
“Coop says to take two every six hours. He doesn’t like the look of that bruise. He’s afraid you could get a clot. No alcohol, mind you, until it heals and if it’s not better in a couple days, he’ll check it again.”
Downcast and feeling put upon, Deacon leaned back sipping his soda, trying not to think about Hillary Du Champs. He transferred the ice pack to his head.
I think I’m getting a migraine. Jeez, what else can go wrong today?
Around noon, the workers took a break. Dino went to the deli next door and brought subs back for everyone. Deacon, foot still up, sat with a towel over his lap and tucked under his chin like a bib.
“I feel ridiculous,” he muttered to Dino, who sat on the riser next to him.
Dino eyed him critically. “You look it too,” he grinned. “Sorry about that incident. I talked to her before she left.” He dropped his voice, turning his face from the volunteers, hardly moving his lips. “She’s been through a tough time, the last year or so.”
“She sort of told me about her boyfriend.”
Dino shook his head. “Her husband. You remember Pete Du Champs, the stunt man?”
Deacon nodded. Pete Wild Man Du Champs was something of a legend in the stunt business. He had a reputation for pulling off the impossible. Every action major flick wanted Pete at the helm.
“A stunt went really sour on a movie set. Someone didn’t do his job right, and a pyrotechnic went off at the wrong time, with Pete right on top of it. He didn’t die right away. That was a year ago, he was in a coma all that time. They took him off life support three months ago, after a prolonged court battle. Kacy wanted to set him free, his parents didn’t agree.”
“Why are you telling me this, Dino?”
“Because I know she’s being unreasonable. You need to know why, to understand a little.”
Deacon leaned back, pulling at the towel.
“Pete was a good friend, Deacon. I’ve known Kacy a few years, she knows her shit. Just…cut her some slack, okay?”
“I’ll try, Dino. If she kicks me again, I can’t be held responsible.”
Dino was eyeing him critically. “You know something?”
“What? Did I get something on my chin?” He wiped his face with the towel.
“No, nothing like that. But it might explain some of Kacy’s attitude. You ever see a picture of Pete?”
Deacon shook his head and shrugged. Stunt men tended to be faceless and anonymous. “Not that I remember.”
Dino pulled out his wallet and flipped it open to a picture of himself on a yacht with Kacy and a tall, handsome, blond haired man.
“That’s Pete and Kacy on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. Notice anything?”
Deacon did notice. The face grinning up at him could have been his own. Aside from different haircuts, Deacon’s ear plugs and Pete’s goatee, they were identical. It was a bit of a shock. He said nothing when Dino flipped his wallet closed once more.
Seeing the other man’s face gave him pause. Dino got called away by some of the volunteers, so he had time to mull it over and reflect for a time. Still unsure of his feelings, he shoved the matter aside until he had the luxury of solitary contemplation.
The afternoon progressed, entailing lots of dust and debris. The stage was clear and clean by around five. Even the darkened mark left by the late and lamented electrician had been scrubbed up by some of the ladies. The volunteers bid Deacon farewell, and went home with a feeling of accomplishment.
Dino came in, slipping his phone in his pocket. “I’ll take you home, Deac. You can get cleaned up and then we are going to dinner. Cook’s night off,” he added as if it mattered.
Dino was a superb chef himself. He must have had other reasons. Deacon smiled and stood up, limping to the car with Dino’s help.
“About tomorrow,” Dino said quietly. “We’ll be doing auditions most of the day. The outside painting crew is coming by. I won’t really need you. So why don’t you stay home and work on those set plans and go over lighting plots. There’s a drafting table and supplies in the office….”
“Let me grab the stuff,” Deacon said, intending to go back inside.
“Already done, plus blueprints of the building.”
“Is Madame Du Champs expected to be in attendance?”
“Not sure what Kacy’s plans are, Deacon.”
Dino neatly avoided the subject and started talking about football, and did Deacon think that FSU or UCF was going to win the big game? Since Deacon had no opinion either way, the conversation was a bit one sided.
As Deacon suspected, Kacy was joining them for dinner. She was dressed for a good quality restaurant and Deacon wondered if he had anything decent to wear. He hadn’t anticipated needing any of his good clothing. Seeing his expression, Dino came to his aid.
“There are a few of my things stored in the closet, Deacon. See if anything fits. This isn’t formal.”
He ducked out to go shower. Deacon was dirtier than he’d realized. Just sitting in the room, he’d gotten filthy, especially when the curtains were brought down, by Dino and two of the teenage boys.
Looking at his leg, he could see Dr. Cooper’s concern. The area in the center was whitish, raised and firm to the touch. The surrounding skin was purple, blue, red and black. After he bathed, he found an ace bandage and wrapped his leg carefully, being sure to leave space for his finger under it.
©2021 Dellani Oakes