She had been a big fan of his work for many years, and thought he was just the funniest, wittiest and handsomest man around. As excited as she was, it was all she could do to remain calm until show time.
She'd gotten there very early so she could get her choice of tables right up front. As she sat and waited, sipping a glass of white wine, the theatre began to fill, and two young women in manhunt outfits, too much makeup and a cloud of cheap perfume came in and stood in front of her table.
"Can I help you?" Desiree asked quizzically, not knowing the two strangers from Adam.
"Well," said the tall blonde with skintight black jeans and a tube top, "we were wondering if we could have this table."
"Yeah," said the brunette with the low-cut blouse and micro-mini skirt, reminding Desiree of a low-rent Ally McBeal, "We love Richard Dawson and we go to all his shows. He knows us by sight now, and we'd really like to sit here, right up front so he can see us."
Desiree looked at them. "Well, that's nice, but I'm sorry - I got here early just so I could get a good seat." She smiled and pointed to a table not far away. "Looks like there's a good one back there," she said pleasantly, "if you grab it before anyone else does."
The blonde leaned in close, apparently trying to choke her into submission with her perfume. "Look, honey, Richard enjoys beautiful women, and I'm sure he'd like to see us here in front during his show, instead of... well, instead of you."
With a sneer, the brunette added brilliantly "Yeah, I mean, really..."
Desiree couldn't believe what she was hearing. "I'm very sorry," she said, more firmly this time, crossing her arms and staring the two right in the eye, "but you'll just have to find another table - this one is taken." She would have offered to share her table in any other circumstance, but surely not now.
"God, what a stupid, fat cow you are!" spat out the brunette with an exasperated, venomous tone, "What do you think, Richard's gonna give you a second glance, except for pity or to laugh at you?"
"In your dreams, you pathetic sow." the blonde jeered. "Do yourself a favor and step aside, sweetheart."
Desiree glared at them. She was far from fashion-model thin, that was certain. In truth, she was simply a voluptuous Marilyn Monroe figure trapped in a Kate Moss world. But her cranberry satin dress hugged her generous curves just right, and her dark auburn hair cascaded down her back. She looked beautiful, and she was not about to allow two ignorant children like these to spoil her evening.
All her life, she'd heard the silly, tired old fat jokes, but by the time she graduated from high school and all the mean little cliques, she had learned to accept herself for who she was. However, people could still occasionally stun her with their blinding stupidity, and Cinderella's wicked stepsisters absolutely took the prize tonight. Normally she would have laughed it off and ignored them, but she felt that these two needed a little "education."
"First of all," Desiree began, "if anyone here resembles a farm animal, it's you two and your atrocious lack of manners. Secondly, I'd wager that a gentleman like Richard would prefer a woman with class, something you probably can't even spell, let alone understand."
Their jaws were agape as she continued to read them the riot act. "And lastly," she concluded, "you can just keep on dreaming about this front row table, because - and I'll say this slowly so you can understand it - you.... aren't.... going ....to.... get ...it...sweetheart..."
Desiree smiled ever so sweetly and raised an eyebrow as they stomped away to find another table, muttering ugly names under their breath. She sighed, happy it was over, but still finding it hard to believe how cruel and thoughtless people could be.
A lovely chicken cordon bleu dinner was served, and the lights went down. Desiree put aside all thoughts of her unpleasant encounter as the play began. Richard was brilliant and devastatingly funny, not to mention absolutely gorgeous, as the hapless butler caught in the middle of all the wacky goings-on and mistaken identities in the British murder mystery-comedy, and received a standing ovation from the audience.
When the lights came back up, Desiree was surprised to see Richard, still in his dashing formalwear costume, coming out of the side door into the audience area, as she assumed he'd be backstage greeting a select group of fans. And to her astonishment, he was walking right toward her direction, which of course, led her two tormentors to head over as well. They shot her a glance as if to say, We may not have gotten your table, but you still lose the big prize, sister!
"Richard!" the brunette gushed as he approached, cutting him off at the pass, so to speak. "It's so good to see you!" She giggled and tossed her hair, much more Seventeen than Cosmo girl style, and it was painfully amusing to watch.
"Yes, we just had to come see you tonight, its been so long!" the blonde chimed in, licking her lips as if Richard were her Thanksgiving dinner. But there would be no feast for them.
"Sorry, I'm afraid I don't remember, do I know you?" he asked absently before turning to Desiree.
She was shocked when he smiled brightly and took her in a huge, warm embrace. "Helloooooooo, gorgeous!" he growled softly.
"Play along," he whispered in her ear, "would you be terribly offended if I kissed you?"
"N..no, not at all" Desiree whispered back. Suddenly, he looked into her eyes, seized her and kissed her full on the mouth. She closed her eyes and played her part, whatever it was, very willingly...
"What's your name?" he whispered.
"Desiree" she answered quietly. But you can call me yours, she added in her mind...
His mouth left hers and he looked deeply into her eyes. "Desiree, my love, I am so glad you came tonight!" He looked her up and down slowly with a smile that could melt the North Pole. "My god, how do you manage to become more beautiful every time I see you? You outshine every other woman in the room." He kissed her hand as she felt the eyes of the twisted sisters burning into her. And she loved every bit of it.
Desiree was confused, but so thoroughly enjoying their little improv session that she decided to ad-lib a bit herself. "And you are as handsome as always, Richard..." she cooed, surprising herself by leaning in and kissing him again, her arms wrapping around his neck, sighing and running her fingers through his hair.
This is a really, really fun game, she thought to herself as she lost herself within his warm, sweet kiss, never wishing to be found.
The blonde cleared her throat, a look of jealousy, disappointment and complete disbelief on both the poor girls' faces. They knew they had been defeated, and it truly was a beautiful sight.
"Oh, sorry," Richard said, grabbing two cocktail napkins and scribbling his name quickly on them, handing them to the two girls. "There you go," he said, barely acknowledging them.
"Now," he purred as he turned his attentions back to Desiree, "Where were we..." He placed his lips on hers again and held her to his chest as they kissed, his fingers caressing her hair.
Finally getting the hint, the two women sighed heavily and walked out, still in a daze over his completely ignoring their obvious female charms.
Richard turned to see that they were gone, and laughed heartily. "Oh Lord, that was wonderful fun! Thank you for playing along, darlin'."
Desiree looked at him. "Yes it was, but I'm sorry, I'm still a bit confused... "
Richard took her hand. "I overheard what those two were saying to you before the show when was behind the side curtain smoking a cigarette. And I've always hated childish bullies, so I figured that it would be great fun to put on a show for their benefit, to teach them a lesson they shan't soon forget."
He smiled, "But I knew you didn't need any help from me, angel, I heard you tell them where to get off - very well done, I must say!"
"Thank you," Desiree smiled. "But I have to admit that our little game was more... enjoyable." She blushed, not believing she just said that to him.
Richard smiled softly as he looked at her and took her face into his gentle hands.
"Oh, was it, now?" he asked with a soft, mischievous grin, "What part did you like? Was it this, perhaps?..." His mouth sought hers and kissed her again, this time deeply and very much for real, his tongue slipping into her inviting mouth as he held her tightly.
"Mmmmmmmmm," she sighed with a shiver at the intimacy of his sensual kiss, "Oh yes, that's it..." She glanced to see that the room was empty. "But, they're gone now, Richard." she breathed.
"I know, Desiree," he replied knowingly, "This one isn't for them, this is just for us..." He paused and looked into her eyes. "If I'm not being too presumptuous, that is?"
She smiled. "My, such big words they teach you boys over there in England," she gently teased him, "Why don't you just be quiet and kiss me again...."
Richard grinned. "Supercalifragilistic..."
"Oh, shut up... " she laughed softly as she interrupted him with another kiss.
After happily obeying her sweet command, Richard touched her cheek.
"You are truly a delight, Desiree. Could I take you to the opera this Saturday?"
"Well," she smiled with a twinkle in her eye, "I'm not as thin and 'perfect' as those two were. What do you see in me?"
Richard smiled softly at her. "Every wonderful inner quality that they could never hope for," he whispered as his eyes took in every inch of her. "Amongst other irresistible things..."
His hands rested softly upon her full hips as he kissed her again. "Besides, my love, only dogs chase sticks and dig bones." he grinned. "And even a dog wouldn't put up with bitches like those!"
They laughed as they walked out of the theatre into the night, arm in arm, her head nestled on his shoulder, and shared one last delicious kiss as their final bow for their brilliant performance..
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