For Always Jugenea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a fictional account of the love story between Judy Garland and Gene Kelly

Submitted: June 07, 2013

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Submitted: June 07, 2013

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Let's go with the first entry.....

~1941~

Gene sprinted off stage after the last the ovation, perspiration glistening on his handsome face.  The stage manager handed him a small towel and the young man made his way back to his dressing room as he mopped his face.  He heard there were “film people” were in the audience and wondered that, if they liked his performance, would it lead to new opportunities. Opening the door, he quickly began removing the greasepaint that he hated so much.  Rolling his shoulders to shake off the adrenaline that performing poured into him, he began to relax.  Just then there was a knock at the door.  Expecting it to be his fiancé, Betsy, Gene sprang up to answer.

Instead, there was a good-sized group standing at the door.  Behind the well-cut suit that was knocking stood a slight, young woman wearing a fur coat that overwhelmed her.  Her curly hair was shiny and she had an irresistible smile that lit up her whole face. Behind her was a middle aged woman who have a severe face that tried to smile. The young woman slid around the suit and grasped Gene’s hand rendering him speechless.  Judy Garland was standing in his dressing room!  He wasn’t easily impressed, but her voice had thrilled him for some time now. 

“You were marvelous, simply marvelous!” Judy gushed, still pumping his hand up and down.

Gene blushed, a little.  He acknowledged everyone around her. Her presence, for such a small girl was huge. 

“Thank you, I really appreciate you coming to see me.” 

They continued to shake hands until everyone around them noticed.  They quickly dropped their grip and giggled nervously.  The other members of the entourage extended their praise and small talk went on for several minutes, but all Gene saw was Judy’s beaming smile and gleaming eyes. 

“We’re going for a late dinner and drinks, why don’t you join us?” the voice snapped Gene out of his reverie.
“Well, I was supposed to meet someone,” Gene stammered. 
“Oh please, join us, for me? “ Judy blurted out, “There will be people you should meet, and I would love…”
“Ok, sure…I just need to change.  Give me a few minutes, ok?” Gene knew he didn’t want to leave that smile just yet – and the people he may meet might just be important.

While the entourage waited in the hallway, Gene quickly phoned Betsy to make his excuses and changed into a fresh suit.Tightening his tie, he swung open the door and saw that smile again.  He felt a lurch in his chest; in surprised and warmed him at the same time.  Clearing his throat, he extended his arm to Judy and placed his hat on his head on a jaunty angle.

“Shall we go?”
 
The evening passed quickly. They made their way to several nightspots; each time a swarm of well and semi-well known people approached their table, buying bottles of champagne and glasses of bourbon.  Opportunities to actually talk to Judy were nil, so after the third stop, he made a gesture indicating a quick exit.  Judy whispered to her mother that she was taking Gene and splitting off from the group.  She explained she wanted him to come to Metro and felt that if they could talk in a quieter place, she could convince him.  Judy’s mother was no fool, but allowed her daughter and her escort to slip away. 

Outside the club Judy tucked her arm into Gene’s and sighed, “Much better don’t you think?”

“Yes, I’ve been trying to talk to you all night!” he placed his hand over hers and smiled a dazzling smile. 

Over the next few hours, they slipped into the after hours joint that he liked, and them from there to a coffee shop to talk - about show business, life, and their hopes and dreams.  Gene watched her face as she talked; he found himself entranced by her expressions. Occasionally, she would stare back until a sudden shyness would send them staring into their coffee cups.  Finally, Gene looked at his watch and noticed it was almost five.  He signaled for the check. 

“I’d better get you back before you mother thinks I’ve kidnapped you.”

Judy giggled, a delicious sound that made him beam.  She took his hand and led him out of the coffee shop.  “I never get the opportunity to be out on my own. Let’s go to Central Park, I want to watch the sun rise!”

They crossed the street and made their way into the park. The night had grown cold so they huddled close for warmth, strolling as Gene told her about what he loved about dancing, and asking her what she enjoyed about singing. She felt right tucked close to his side; he quickly lost sense of the time. After a while, they settled on a bench, watching the pink and red of the early morning rays of the morning sun creep over the branches.Judy turned to Gene, snuggling in in close as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders; she pressed her cheek against his.  The crisp coldness, mixed with the perfume of her hair was intoxicating to him.  He breathed deeply and closed his eyes.  Spurred by warmth of their skin touching, he tipped her chin toward him and softly kissed her full lips.  They melted against together, their arms wrapping tightly around each other.  Gene felt the lurch in his chest again; he wanted the kiss to go on and on.  Then the reality of the morning dawned on him.  Slowly, he pulled away.

“I have to get you back.” He stammered. 
“Gene….” She whispered.”
“Judy, the reporters, and I have to get some sleep for tonight….and,” he fell quiet.
“There’s someone waiting for you, too?” she asked in a small voice.

He nodded quickly before rising and pulling her toward him.  Hugging her tightly, Gene wrapped Judy’s hand in his as they left the park.  Hailing a cab, they rode silently back to Judy’s hotel, still holding hands and looking deeply into each other’s eyes.  As they reached the hotel, he hugged her again and pressed a soft kiss on her cheek. 

“Thank you for a lovely evening,” she smiled, her lower lip trembling slightly, “Please come to Metro, I know they're interested in you, and you’d be so wonderful there!  We could make a picture together.”

“I think that would be swell. You’d be so great – you’re so talented…..” Gene’s voice trailed off; the words he wanted to say wouldn’t come out.
 

Judy gave him a game smile.

 

“It was a night to remember, Gene” Judy whispered, kissing his cheek and disappearing into the hotel.
 
 
~1942~

Gene and Betsy, now married for almost a year, settled into Hollywood; she was already pregnant and they looked forward to the birth of what they hoped would be the first of a large family. Gene, under contract to Selznick, had done little more than test and was feeling restless.  Selznick had brought him out, but had no work for him. He knew he should be at Metro where musicals were being made, but he had a contentious relationship with LB Mayer, stemming from a disastrous meeting soon after he met Judy.Gene was starting to feel like Hollywood was a mistake, but then his agent called him with news.  He was going to be lent to Metro to make his first picture, For Me and My Gal; and it was going to be with Judy.  Gene was elated.  Gene’s love for Betsy had deepened; with the baby coming, he dismissed his time with Judy as an infatuation with a movie star.  He was more nervous about performing well in the movie than he was about seeing Judy.

The first day of shooting was gorgeous. He was walked quickly, nervously, to the rehearsal stage.  When it came to live performance, he knew exactly what he was doing, but filming movies was a different ballgame, and Gene didn’t really like being out of his element.  The assistant director waved to him as he approached the building that housed the rehearsal halls.  He greeted Gene and ushered him into the large, spare room.  Gene relaxed a bit, it looked very similar to the rehearsal halls he was used to, just on a ground floor with a distinct absence of traffic noises. He crossed the room to the piano in the corner. There stood Buzby Berkeley, in a tatty looking sweater vest and gray flannel slacks.  Next to him, with her back to the door, stood a young woman with linen shorts and short-sleeved blouse, her light brown hair caught up in a ribbon.  As Gene approached, she turned and greeted him with a beaming smile.  The sight of her caused Gene to pause and visibly gulp.  Judy had changed, she'd become more mature, and more beautiful.  Her face was thinner and her figure slimmer, but more voluptuous at the same time.  For a tiny woman, her legs seemed a mile long.  Her eyes, though, had not changed. They were a deep velvety brown, and they sparkled at the sight of him. Her smile still brightened the entire room.

“Hey you!”  Judy barked and in a moment, folded Gene into a surprisingly strong hug. 

Relieved that there appeared to be no awkwardness between them, Gene returned the hug before turning to Buzby to shake his hand.  Berkeley gruffly greeted him and set the two of them to work. Over the next couple of weeks they worked together to rehearse their numbers.  The rest of the cast joined them at various times.  Ben Blue was funny and easy to work with.  George Murphy, the second male lead was initially meant to be the first lead and let it be known that he was not happy about the switch that gave Gene his part.  Gene, usually never shy about his ability to outwork or outshine anyone, wisely held his tongue and the two men stayed in their corners.  Other than that, the rehearsal time was familiar and easy on Gene, who was used to working harder than anyone. Judy proved to be invaluable. She guided him through tedious prerecording sessions, making the process fun.  He quickly learned she had a fabulous sense of humor, and she loved to laugh.  Gene charmed her, and she him.  They worked well together and through talk on the set he soon learned it was Judy who was his champion for getting the part of the Harry Palmer. He was feeling good, but then shooting started. 

The first few days were horrible.  Buzby was continually telling Gene to play it down and yelling at him for being out of frame.  He missed his marks and his gestures were too broad for the shot.  Gene could feel his temper shorten and that made things worse.  After one frustrating take, Gene was visibly relieved when Buzby called for a break and told everyone to head to their trailers.Sinking into his makeup chair, he lit a cigarette, snorting the smoke through his nose in disgust.  A quiet knock startled him out of his thoughts.  Rising to open the door, he found Judy standing in the doorway with a sympathetic look on her face.She gestured for entry into the room.  Gene opened the door wider and let her past.  She perched on the daybed across from the makeup chair, gesture for him to sit.  Taking  the spot next to her, he looked at her helplessly.  Judy put a finger on his cheek and began to explain the subtle mysteries of what it took to work with Buzby (it wasn’t easy), and how to appear natural on film.  Gene soaked it up like a sponge, grateful for her guidance. 

Over the next couple of weeks, Gene looked to Judy for guidance in scenes and he began to relax, feeling that he was starting to improve.  The long hours and the love story in the picture brought them together more and more.  Judy went out of her way to make Gene feel more comfortable, and they took to sitting together between scenes, laughing and talking.  He looked forward to going to the set every day, feeling that he was learning more and more.  During the rushes, Judy pointed out small things that helped him dramatically.  In between takes, they sat on set and teased each other, laughing until tears ran down their faces. She brought out the best in him; their dialog and musical numbers showed an easy and sexy chemistry. He felt so grateful that they began to close each day with a hearty hug.  It wasn’t long until he found himself looking forward to that hug as the highlight of the workday.  One night, Gene went looking for Judy to wish her a good night, and found her in her dressing room, sitting in semi-darkness; she sat staring in the mirror holding a cigarette, not smoking it but just staring at the smoke curling above her head.  He entered the room and sat across from her, just as she had done just a few weeks before.  He leaned forward, took the cigarette and stubbed it out.  Gathering her hands in his, he gazed tenderly into her sad eyes.

“Sweetie, what’s wrong?” he asked softly.

 

Judy’s eyes filled up and she shook her head, and then looked down, beginning to cry.  Gene pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed her eyes.  She began to tell him of an argument she’d had with her husband, David Rose, and the troubles that were being to become apparent in their marriage. Judy was really upset, and he spent a long time talking with her, calming her down; eventually, he teased and joked with her gently to get her to laugh.  A smile broke through her tears and she thanked him profusely.  As Gene rose to leave, Judy hugged him hard.  He felt that familiar lurch and hesitated, holding her longer than he intended to and she made no move to pull away. Finally, Gene broke the embrace and stepped back, feeling a little embarrassed.   Holding her at arm’s length, he looked down at her and smiled.

“Are you going to be okay?” he asked.

“I will, thanks.” She smiled up at him, her eyes shining. 

“Good.” He leaned in and planted a quick kiss on her cheek. 

Judy blushed and that made Gene feel a little thrill.  He chucked her under the chin and left the dressing room, happy that he made her smile, but also a little confused at how much she unsettled him.  Scratching his head, he shook it off and left the studio. 

A few nights later, they met at Decca’s recording studio to cut a full version of “When You Wore A Tulip”.  Gene never particularly liked his voice; he always joked that Bing Crosby had nothing to worry about, however his and Judy’s voices blended so well, the studio brass wanted to take advantage of it.  Judy’s husband David was conducting the orchestra and wanted to try a jazzier arrangement that both Gene and Judy loved.  They listened to the orchestra play it through several times as they recorded the music, then the two went into the vocal booth.   They ran through a few warm ups and then began to sing.  Several takes later, they clicked.  Looking at each other, they grinned as they sang and almost acted out the song, their enthusiasm bubbling up through the music.  Gene loved singing with Judy, she made it so easy, he found himself letting go and singing much more naturally. For the first time, he felt like a real singer.  She could easily ad lib in a song, taking it to another level.  When she tossed in “a big fat rose”, her nose wrinkled in delight and he beamed at her. They both knew it was a good song and that they were giving it a great treatment. 
 

Listening to the playback, they were very pleased.  David loved it, but wanted to make some adjustments the engineering before he’d cut it to the record.  Judy asked if they needed to cut a new take, and David shook his head.  He could use this one; it just needed some work.  Judy sighed; that meant he’d be working all night. She asked if he could do it in the morning, but David refused. When the inspiration struck him, he liked to keep working; he was very single minded about it.  She tried to cajole him into going home, she felt so good about the recording she wanted to share it with him, but David wouldn’t listen.  Sighing, she left the studio, but when she reached the lobby, she realized that they had driven in together and she’d have to get a cab.  Gene followed her, putting is hat on his head and carrying his coat over his arm; he saw Judy standing there looking a little lost. 

“Hey, you okay?” he asked.
“Oh, yes. David’s working late – again, and I have to get a cab home.”
“You don’t need to do that, let me drive you,” he smiled as he spoke.
“You’re in the opposite direction, it’ll be too much trouble.”

“No trouble at all. Come on.” He said as he led her to the car and settled her in the front seat. 

 

As they drove, they talked about the recording. Gene complimented her profusely. 

“If you can make a groaner like me sound good, you can make anybody sound good,” he chuckled.
“Oh come on, you have a lovely voice,” she smiled.
“Bing Crosby’s job is safe.” He laughed. 

As they made their way into Beverly Hills, Judy reflected how much she enjoyed making this movie.  Gene was a treat and he was so masculine; it provided a very different dynamic than what she’d experienced before

 
“It must be tough balancing two schedules, “ Gene’s voice snapped her out of her reverie.
“Oh, um. Yes, it can be very tough,” she stammered. “we never get enough time together.”
“That’s not good.” He replied, his voice thoughtful.
Judy bristled a little, “Well, it’s just for now, we’ll work it out.”
Gene realized he touched a nerve and pulled back, “Of course, I was really thinking about how I would be in that situation, I’m sorry.”

Judy flushed. She realized that she was over sensitive about her relationship with David, but that was because nothing at the moment was working.  She reached out and patted Gene’s arm to assure him it was okay.  Her hand on his arm was warm and it felt lovely and a shiver traveled through him.  She felt it and pulled back.  They were quiet for the rest of the ride home. He was watchful over the next week, trying to gauge Judy’s emotions.  Things seemed to be better, but early the following week, he could tell she was very upset.  She overreacted to Berkeley’s gruff behavior and kept to herself, smoking nervously in her small onset trailer.  At the end of filming for the day, she left quickly.  Gene took his time gathering his things before deciding to stop by Judy’s dressing room to check in on her before he went home.  As he approached her door, he heard a drawer slamming.  He knocked softly.

 

“Come in,” she answered in a voice that gave away her tears.


Entering the dressing room, he saw her pacing the room, her eyes puffy from crying.  He sat on the daybed and watched her go back and forth.  He waited patiently, and eventually, the story poured out. Judy couldn’t take David’s work habits anymore.  He stayed up all night working and because of that she wasn’t getting any sleep.  She was exhausted, she knew it affected her work, but he wouldn’t change anything.  Other issues came out, and she was torn, she wanted the marriage to work, but nothing she did seemed to make any difference.  
She sobbed for a while before sitting down and trying to laugh through her tears.

 

“What a mess!” she cried.

 
Gene slid his arm around her shoulder and pulled her to his side; Judy buried her face in his shoulder.  Wrapping his other arm around her, he pulled her close and let her cry. They sat there for a long while, him just holding her against his chest; her body was soft against his and very warm. Gene exhaled slowly; it felt good, too good, but Judy needed a shoulder so he made no move to slide away.  Eventually, she slid her arms around his waist.  In a small voice, she thanked him for making her feel better. Gene closed his eyes, knowing that his resolve was fading quickly.  He had always found her cute; but ever since the rehearsals started, he saw how she had changed, maturing into a beautiful woman who was wickedly funny, alluringly vulnerable with a lush body that was downright sexy.  He found himself occasionally fantasizing about her, and that made him feel guilty.  Now she was here in his arms, holding him and the thoughts he was having were definitely not brotherly or even friendly.  He felt that familiar lurch in his chest; Gene was far more attracted to Judy than he allowed himself to realize. Without thinking, he kissed her forehead and she snuggled deeper into his arms; he kissed her forehead again.  She sighed and carried away by the feeling that was building up in him, he began pressing soft kisses against her closed eyelids. Startled, he pulled back. Judy opened her eyes and he could see that she was feeling the attraction too. With a soft groan, he lowered his mouth to hers.  Judy kissed him back hungrily and the passion that he had fought down now rose through his body.  His arms tightened around her and he tentatively parted her lips with his tongue.  She responded, making a tiny noise as her fingers rose to explore his face. Overwhelmed by her tender touch, his kisses became a little more urgent. Her mouth was so beguiling and her full lips excited him.  Pulling away, he nuzzled her cheek.  Judy sighed, and the sound caused a shiver to pass through him. 

“Oh Judy,” he sighed, “We shouldn’t be doing this.”
“Don’t say that,” she replied.

 
The light smell of her perfume filled his nose, and underneath he could detect the warm aroma of her skin.  Driven by the urge to taste, he pressed his lips against her throat and lightly flicked his tongue, savoring the tang of her skin.  Raising his face to hers, they kissed again, gently this time.  Judy pulled away and looked at him, her eyes huge; Gene returned her gaze, nodding slightly as if in a daze.  Pulling her close, she could feel the pounding of his heart as it matched the pounding of her own.  Burying her face in the crook of his neck, she felt him hug her tightly; they gripped each other as if to prevent something from sweeping them away.With her forehead pressed against the warm skin of his neck, she could felt attraction rise in her like a bubble; she was afraid what would happen if it burst, but she also recognized how good it felt to be held like this again.  Pressing her lips against his throat, she felt him shudder in response and tighten his hold on her.He spoke in a quiet voice,

“I don’t want to leave.”

“Darling, I don’t want you to either.” she said, kissing his throat again.

“This is dangerous.”

“I - I know, but I can't help feeling like I don’t care.” she whispered.

Gene pulled Judy’s legs up across his lap running his fingers along the length of her leg before moving up to her sides and back. Her lips were tantalizingly warm against his throat as she breathed his name while threading her fingers through his hair, to pull him even closer.  Sliding down to a laying position, they began to explore each other with their fingers and their lips.  His fingers felt like fire on Judy’s skin and she was happy to burn; she’d never experienced anything like this and could feel her body reacting, her skin growing tenderer, her breasts quivering as he brushed his fingertips over her and lingering as he felt her response.  Gene’s touch was at once tender and possessive.  Judy gasped and moaned as his caresses became bolder, finding new places on her body to touch.  Still, she could feel a restraint in him that kept him from fully pressing down on her.  At one point, their eyes met.

“Judy, are you sure?” His dark eyes searching her face for her consent.

“I’ve wanted you to do this since we’ve met,” she smiled and kissed him again, her tongue tracing his. 

“Oh honey, I’ve wanted you, too”, he whispered, knowing it was dangerous, but not able to keep his mouth or his hands off the silky softness of her skin.

He began to unbutton her blouse, kissing the soft hollow of her throat. He buried his face between her breasts as he ran his fingers along the inside of her thighs.  Judy pulled him up for another kiss; lifting her, he sat her on his lap and removed her blouse, slipping her bra from her shoulders. He sighed as her breasts were exposed to him. She was beautiful; reaching out, he slowly stroked her breasts, loving her reaction as his fingers teased her soft, soft skin. She reached for his shirt and fumbled with the buttons until he stopped her. He unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it and his t shirt off with one move.  Taking her in his arms, they pressed together, feeling the warmth of each other’s skin; once again they kissed, each one becoming more fevered.Her fingers curled into the hair on the back of his neck as he reached down to kiss her breasts, lightly licking each peak.  He moved back to her mouth and cupped her breasts in hands, murmuring how beautiful they were. Judy had never felt more beautiful than when she saw herself in his eyes. Placing his hands on her thighs, Gene slid them up under her skirt to cup her buttocks and pull her closer.  Judy felt like she was sinking into sea of warm honey; Gene’s lovemaking was slow and sensual, unlike anything she’d experienced before.  With all of the energy he possessed, he never rushed anything.

Raising her skirt over her hips and He slid his fingers into the waistband of her panties.  Judy grabbed his shoulders as his fingers grazed the gentle curve of her belly.  She began to whimper with anticipation, and Gene kissed her, whispering soft endearments against her lips.  Gasping when his fingers found her wetness, she moaned as he stroked her.  Jolts of sensations traveled through her and she reacted to every caress.  She could feel Gene becoming more aroused by the moment, but his momentum never changed. Bending his head, he nibbled and kissed her breasts as he kept stroking her with a feather soft touch until he felt her nearing her orgasm.  When she finally shuddered in release, she could feel the power in him release as he slid his arms around her and kissed her deeply.  Silently, he lifted her hips and lifted her to a standing position, following her so that he could remove her skirt and panties.  She quickly undid his belt and helped him remove his trousers.  Kicking off his shoes, his pants hit the floor. They sank back to the daybed.  Positioning himself over her, Gene gently grasped her thighs and parted them. He smiled; she was so ready for him. 

Pressing into her, he groaned with delight. She was so warm; it surrounded him so completely that it made his head swim.  The feel of her skin, her aroma and her touch was over powering, and although he wanted to completely overpower her, he restrained himself.  Thrusting gently Gene kissed her eyelids. He said in a whisper,

 

“Do you know how you wonderful you feel?”

“Tell me,” she replied in the same tone.

“You’re so warm and you’re so soft; I want to be inside you forever.”

 

Judy moaned and Gene kissed her throat; without increasing his pace he began plunging deeper into her. He wanted all of her and was going to take it. Her moans increased and she moved with him, gripping his shoulders with her fingertips.  Judy opened her eyes and their gazes locked.  This intensity was more than just physical, the fingers gripping his shoulders might well as been gripping his heart. It scared the hell out of him, but the more it scared him, the more he wanted her and the deeper he thrust, cupping her head in his hands and whispering her name, moving faster and faster until he felt her shudder again, tightening her thighs around his waist.  His own climax came soon after and he thrust hard, one last time, groaning loudly and covering her face with kisses. 

They shifted on the daybed and Judy snuggled against Gene’s chest, sighing with happiness.  He held her tightly and kissed the top of her head.  Silence enveloped them, and for a time they drifted drowsily.Then he opened his eyes with a start and stared into the darkness.  What had he done? His wife was home, a lovely young woman wildly in love with him and waiting to have his baby.  The woman in his arms thrilled him, and he knew he had developed deep, deep feelings for her, but was he going to throw everything away for this?  A chill went through him. 

“Gene” Judy’s voice was very quiet.

“Yes, honey?” his voice shook slightly, and he knew she must have felt him tense.

“I know what you’re thinking, darling.  We’re both married, you know.”

“I know,” he tightened his arms around her, “This……”

She looked up and softly kissed the side of his neck. He could feel himself melt, but was cautious.  He stroked her hair.

“I’m not asking you to leave Betsy. I’m not leaving David.”

He was surprised to feel a little disappointment mixed in with his relief.  He raked his hand through his hair and said, “That makes things less…….complicated.”

Judy slid from his side and lay on Gene’s chest. She kissed it, and raised her head to look deeply into his eyes.  “You know, if it weren’t complicated, I would fall deeply in love with you.”

He smiled and ran a finger across her lips. He agreed, yet wondered if he hadn't fallen a little already. 

They stayed together a little while longer before having to dress to leave. As Gene pulled on his pants, Judy said that they probably shouldn’t meet like this again.  He paused, gazing at her with mixed feelings.  He could tell she didn’t mean what she said, but he felt conflicted. Gene had fucked other women before and once he’d had them, the desire for them was gone. Judy wasn’t one of those types of girls. Their lovemaking made him want her all the more. He knew that what he had with Betsy had so far been strong, but what just happened with Judy upended everything. He wanted her again, and staying away would be difficult, especially with seeing her every day, but in her way, Judy was right. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin things at home, so Gene rationalized it would be best.  Before they exited the dressing trailer, Judy leaned into Gene and kissed him again; without a second thought, he pulled tightly into his arms; feeling his arousal stir again, he broke the embrace.  Judy watched him for a second and then left.  Gene stared at himself in the mirror, feeling torn between desire and guilt.  Turning off the small light in the corner, he left the trailer and got in his car. Driving home, he felt as though he left a piece of himself with her.  He stopped at a traffic light and closed his eyes for a moment.  

 

He thought, "What am I going to do?"

For several days, they treated each other with gentle politeness, making sure they didn’t spend one more minute together than necessary.  Gene hated it but knew he should stay away.More than once he caught himself watching Judy from across the set, and when their eyes met, he could see that she shared his feelings.  He was thankful that his upcoming scenes were with Ben Blue; Judy would not be on set.He threw himself into the work to keep from thinking too much. He tried to keep things as normal as possible at home, relieved that the pregnancy kept Betsy from noticing any difference in his behavior.  

The days were easy; he worked hard and hovered around the set soaking up as much information as he could.  He paid close attention to how dance numbers were laid out; he promised himself that one day he would be blocking the dances. He would often sit with the crew at lunch, peppering them with questions about how to position the camera in order to best catch a dancer’s moves.  The daytime was easy; however at night, night, after the house quieted down, he would sit in his little study tormented by memories of their encounter. It all poured over him; how she felt, how she tasted, her aroma all flooded back to him.  He remembered the light flush of freckles across her nose and her chest and how that aroused him. He couldn’t forget at how one moment she was girlish and innocent, yet when she was in his arms, she was sensuous and alluring; she could draw him into her in every possible way. Most of all he couldn’t erase the fact that he still wanted her very badly.

Guilt began to eat at him.  He swore to himself that he wouldn’t stray again. Gene normally was an affectionate husband; he was forever stopping Betsy for a kiss or a hug.  He loved children and was amazed at how Betsy’s body changed with the pregnancy.  His wife was so young when they married; he fashioned their life and she followed along with him. He liked to call the shots and be in control, because doing so allowed him to open up his softer, more tender side with his wife.  Betsy was gentle and good-natured; a good compliment to Gene’s unstoppable energy.  She calmed him down.  Now, she had to call on that reserve more often because his guilt made him jumpier than ever. One morning as he was leaving for the set, Betsy mentioned she would like to stop by to see him and how things were going.  He blanched, but turned, took his wife into his arms and kissed her cheek.  Judy wouldn’t be on set, what harm could it do?  He agreed and tried not to think about potential conflicts as he drove to the studio.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Betsy entered the sound stage right after lunch, and Gene showed her around before settling her into his chair as he prepared to shoot the next scene.  He could see her lovely red hair and clear blue-gray  eyes as he blocked the steps to the scene and his eyes softened.  She really was a sweet kid and they were excited at the prospect of the baby.  As much as he wanted Judy, it wasn’t the right thing to do; there was too much to look forward to.He settled into that scene, and then the next, making his way to Betsy’s side between takes. They talked quietly while he waited to be called back.  The rest of the day seemed to fly by.  Finally, Betsy rose and embraced her husband before heading for home.  Gene saw her to the door and settled her with the A.D who was to escort her to her car.  As he turned back to the soundstage, he saw Judy standing there watching them both.  He paused, looking first at Betsy, who, unaware, waved to Judy.  Judy flashed a sparkling smile that Gene knew was meant for an audience before she quickly ducked into the soundstage.  Gene sighed, dreading her reaction as he went back in. He didn’t see her and headed back to the set figuring that she was in her trailer.  Let her be there, he thought, I can’t deal with that right now, however, when he reached his set chair, he found Judy perched on it.  Biting his lip, he approached and stood by her, facing the action. Nervous, he bounced lightly on the balls of his feet.

“Hi there, kiddo,” he said as he tried to sound nonchalant, “how’re you?”

“I’m fine, just fine,” she too, tried to keep it light, “How’s Betsy?”

“Oh fine, fine. She gets itchy when stuck in the house for too long, so she wanted to visit.  I think she misses acting.”  He didn’t meet her eyes and pretended to watch the prop men setting up.  They fell silent and waited to be called to the scene.  He could feel her eyes on him, and finally he turned back to her.  His eyes showed the conflict he felt in his heart, but his smile was tender.  Placing a warm hand on her shoulder, he could feel Judy relax under his palm. They knew this wasn’t going to be easy.At the end of the day’s filming, they strolled toward their drivers who were waiting to take them back to their respective dressing rooms.  Judy, chewing lightly on her lower lip, placed a hand on Gene’s arm.  They stopped and faced each other.

Gene looked down at her, tilted his head a little to the side and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Betsy coming by, I didn’t know what to say….I’m,” he lifted his shoulders in a shrug, “new to all of this.  What are the rules here?”

Crossing his arms across his arms across his chest to give himself a little space, he looked down, feeling torn.  Gene was always someone who knew exactly what to do and how to do it; he wasn’t used to feeling so unsure of himself and he didn’t like it.Judy reached out and tucked a hand into the crook of his arm.  Raising his eyes to hers, he saw her smile a bittersweet smile.

“I don’t know either.  But I adore you, and I want to make whatever will be with us work, whether it’s friendship or …., well, I want to make it work, too.” 

Gene knew that Judy was a woman of high passions and was very sensitive about how she was perceived. He wasn’t sure she totally believed what she said, but decided to take her at face value.  Murmuring his agreement, he gave her arm a squeeze goodnight as they reached their cars. The next week flew by, and with each day Gene felt more confident in his work. He and Judy began to settle into a more comfortable rhythm; as long as they maintained a little distance, things seemed to return to a pre-encounter atmosphere.  She never seemed to stay too long and stand too close, but she was affable and he began to relax, rationalizing that the moment must have passed for her. Judy was peppering her conversation with references to the social events she was attending and preparing for her next movie, for which she had already started rehearsing. Gene started in meetings for his next film, so they were rarely on set together at the same time.  Still, he felt that lurch whenever he saw her, even for a moment. He still thought about her too much, but he was good at rationalizing it away. 

Then, came the day they had to film the scene where they learned they had finally been signed to the Palace.  The scene called for them to embrace and for Gene to kiss Judy.  As he reached over to kiss her, he was drawn to the warmth of her mouth.  He delivered another a line, then leaned in and kissed her neck. It wasn’t in the script, but he wanted to kiss her again.  When his lips brushed her neck, he felt her shiver and knew it was just as powerful for her.  They finished the scene, but when Berkley called cut, they separated quickly; of course Berkeley called for another take.  When filming finally finished, Gene was ready to get out of there. He headed to his dressing room to clear his head for a while before having to head to the recording studio to reloop a scene.  Sinking into a chair and lighting cigarette, he closing his eyes, his lips felt almost burned from the heat of her skin, the aroma of her perfume still strong in his nose.  He sighed deeply. 

Gene was still deep in thought when a short time later he heard a knock on his door.  Thinking it was the AD fetching him for the looping session, he rose and opened it to see Judy standing in there.  He stepped back to let her in; she closed the door quietly behind her.Standing close, she gazed up at him before reaching out with an imploring look in her eyes.Silently, she stroked his face; Gene sighed, his resolve melting. Any pretense about doing the right thing faded quickly.  He wanted her; his physical and emotional feelings too jumbled to make a rational decision. Gathering into his arms he pressed his lips against hers as they kissed their way to his daybed. There was no hesitation this time as they removed each other’s clothes.  They made love urgently. 

“I couldn’t stay away, “she whispered, “I – I thought we had moved on, that it was just a moment of passion, but when you kissed me today, I knew I couldn’t stay away. I know nothing can come of this, you have a family, I have a husband, but I ache when I don’t see you. I don’t eat; I don’t sleep. All my common sense goes out the window.”

“Oh babe,” he replied stroking her hair, “it’s been awful.  This is crazy. Bets is pregnant, I shouldn’t even be considering this, but I want you.

He pressed a soft kiss on her lips before continuing, “I can’t help myself and it scares the hell out of me.  I don’t believe in…dalliances; we’re in uncharted territory – at least as far as I’m concerned.  But I do know you’re very, very special to me.”

They held each other, breathing together, Gene’s fingers lightly tracing her spine.  She was so beautiful to him, her laugh, and her voice charmed him completely. Her lithe body curled against his aroused him beyond belief.  Gene realized with very mixed emotions that there was no fighting his attraction to her. It was simply too strong.  Burying his face in Judy’s hair, he breathed in fresh smell of her shampoo as she tightened her arms around him and gave him a hug.  She ran her fingers over his chest, loving how muscled he was even though he didn’t look like a brawny man; her fingers played over his body until he growled,

“You’re driving me crazy, sweetie. Keep doing that and I’ll have to make love to you again.”

Her eyes widened in mock horror, “You wouldn’t!”

“Oh yeah?” he laughed, beginning to tickle her.  Judy, laughing hard, tried to wiggle away, but Gene pinned her down, running the tip of his tongue along her neck, delighting in how it made her squirm and squeal under him.  He continued to hold her down, teasing her warm skin with the tip of his tongue.  Just then a knock came on the door, causing them to freeze.

“You’re wanted in the recording studio, Mr. Kelly, “came the voice behind the door. 
“Uh, okay, thanks, I’ll be in a minute, “Gene called back. He held a finger to her lips and shushed her.

As the voice drifted off, they remained frozen, looking at each other for a few moments before getting up and looking around for their discarded clothes.  Dressing quickly, Gene tied his shoes while Judy smoother her hair in the mirror.  He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed the back of her neck.  Looking at their reflection, she leaned back against him. They fit together perfectly; the mirror displayed back their mutual desire for each other. Gene was a lost man and he knew it.

“I meant that,” he whispered as they gazed at their reflection in the mirror, “I will make love to you again.” 

They quickly split up after leaving the dressing room, meeting again in the sound room in building 1.  The scenes they were due to reloop were where Jo tells Harry to leave. They tried to appear innocent, but with each glance, they found themselves breaking into smiles and laughter. The afterglow of their lovemaking made being sad and angry very difficult. The session dragged along and the engineers were visibly annoyed, but they finally were able to finish looping the scenes.Afterward, Gene walked Judy to her dressing room where her driver was waiting.  Stopping her in the shadows before they reached the car, he pulled her to him and kissed her passionately before releasing her to the driver.  He drove home, carrying the feeling of being inside her with him.He paused in his driveway before entering the house, with his eyes closed.  His life was becoming very difficult to manage, but he knew he was helpless to do anything to stop it.

After that, they met whenever they had a break from filming, stealing time in dressing rooms, meeting at a coffee shop down by the Santa Monica pier, trying to find some time wherever they could. Time that allowed them to make love rarely available; but being together to just talk or to share a brief lingering look just heightened the passion that they already had for each other.  One afternoon, they were at the photography studio posing for publicity stills. The photographer barely had to guide them through the poses.  They laughed like teenagers as the camera clicked away.  George Murphy eventually joined them for a trio photo and was peeved that during his part of their session Gene and Judy remained focused on each other.  Gene, aware of his rookie status, tried his best to include George in the atmosphere they were trying to create, but Judy looked so beautiful in the white eyelet lace gown she wore for the session he could barely keep his eyes from her.  When the proofs came back, they shared an amused smile when Arthur Freed complimented them on the quality of the photos, noting they looked like they actually were lovers.

Gene’s life outside the studio continued to unfold.  He worked on his house, enjoying the role of handyman, even building a cradle for the baby.  His circle of friends continued to expand, and he enjoyed his weekends immensely. Betsy sometimes asked about having the cast to the house, but Gene demurred.  While previous to their affair they were friendly, Judy tended to move in different circles than Gene, who preferred to socialize at home. That allowed them to limit unexpected meetings when they were with their respective spouses.When they saw each other outside of the studio, they played it careful, being friendly and pleasant, trying not to be obvious about the heat between them. Somehow, they carried it off.


Filming was moving to a close and that brought a bittersweet feeling to their meetings.  The last day of filming was only a few days off; Betsy was due to deliver any time; the two events together made Gene aware that any occasion that he and Judy were together might be for the last time.  They talked about what was ahead and though Judy cried and Gene grew grim, they agreed it that it would be best that when filming ended, so should their affair.  He wanted to do something that showed his affection and appreciation.  On a free afternoon, he slipped away and drove down to the beach, and spent his time walking on the sand, lost in thought.  It came to him during his stroll as he kicked small, shiny shells that littered the beach.


On the last day of filming, Freed arranged for a cast party on set. Judy, Gene, George and Ben all performed some songs with the small combo that had been hired for the event. The liquor and champagne flowed and everyone milled together, singing and laughing.  Knowing it was their last night together both Judy and Gene were making frequent trips to the bar. In between, he danced with her; she looked lovely in a form fitting red silk shirtdress. Holding her as close as he dared in the company of everyone, Gene wanted to feel her in his arms as much as possible. Unless there were going to be retakes, they both knew that this was probably the last time they would be together in such close quarters.  While his rational thought told him he should express his appreciation and cut out early, holding her in his arms made it impossible to go.  When the music ended, Judy wanted to get some air, claiming she was feeling the effects of the alcohol.  Gene escorted her outside.  Once, outside Judy began walking quickly, heading across the back lot, walking so fast that Gene had to sprint to catch up with her.  The combination of the cool night air and the bourbon made him feel reckless. He wrapped his arms around her and turned her around.

“Gene, don’t. Even though I must, I don’t want to say good-bye. This is just making it harder.” She whispered.

“Babe,” Gene tightened his arms around her, “I know…tomorrow will be hell…will you stay with me a little longer tonight?”
 

The look on her face showcased her dismay so clearly he was taken aback. Wanting to change the mood, he began to hum, clowning a little for her, before pulling her in to dance a slow foxtrot, nudging her until she fell into step with him and they moved together his humming.She started to hum along with him and soon they were creating their own pas de deux between the empty sound stages.  Laughing as the song ended, Gene kept her in his arms.  Knowing no one else was around; he pulled her into his arms for a hungry kiss. She broke from his embrace and began leading him to their dressing room, but Gene changed direction, leading Judy by the hand. He headed to his car and opened the passenger side and guided Judy to the door.

He drove them to the top of Muholland where the city spread out before them.  Pulling over so that they could look at the city, Judy slid over the bench seat and sat next to him as he wrapped his arms around her. Together, they watched the bright silver path the moon cut across the valley.Gene’s eyes grew accustomed to the dark, and in the silver light, he turned her face to him tilted her chin up so that they gazed into each other’s eyes; he was overwhelmed by the emotion he saw.  She was the complete opposite of what he usually found attractive. He normally went for the clean, lean, scrubbed collegiate look of Betsy.  Judy was tiny, which made him feel powerful, and she was lush.Her mouth, her breasts, even her eyes were lush.  Just looking at her made him ravenous for her.  His eyes glittered with his desire. Judy shivered from a combination of the cool evening air and the intensity of Gene’s eyes.  He was incredibly handsome to her, with his black Irish good looks, the small crescent shaped scar on his face that made those good looks seem a little more dashing.  Gene was a very passionate man, and his eyes hid nothing.  Those eyes were so dark they looked black, in even in bright sunlight.  On that point, they were exactly alike. Anger, affection, humor and disappointment registered so clearly in in his eyes, that she knew exactly what he was feeling. His compact, muscular body was so different from any other man, she’d known and the power of it excited her to no end.  When he held her, she felt so safe, sure that he’d never let anyone or anything hurt her.  When they made love, his skin grew so warm it left its imprint on her for hours after they’d separated.

They began to kiss and caress each other.  Their eyes locked, whispering things that their mouths couldn’t say.  She leaned in and kissed him so tenderly, he felt his heart break.  He didn’t want to leave her; he wanted her more than ever.  He wished that he had taken her to a place where they could make love, but he didn’t that was the right thing to do. It didn’t stop their desire for each other.  They made out like a couple of teenagers, Judy’s fingers weaving their way through Gene’s hair and he placed hot kisses on her neck and caressed her breasts through her dress.  Judy slid her hands down to Gene’s jacket and felt something in the inside pocket.

“What’s that?” she whispered.

Gene laughed out loud.  He was so besotted with her, he’d forgotten!  He reached into his jacket and brought a small oblong package out and cradled it against his chest.  Leaning back against the seat, with his hair mussed, his tie askew and that adorable grin, he looked like an overgrown twelve year-old.  Judy began to chuckle.  She tried to snatch it from him, but he raised it over his head and held her against him with his other hand.  She tried to reach it, but his arms were longer.  She made a pretend pout and he kissed her. 

“You’re too short.” He grinned.

“What’s in the bag?”

“What are you talking about?”

“What’s in the bag?”

Gene looked up at his arm that was still stretched over his head, “Oh, you mean that?” His eyes widened and he shook the bag playfully.

“Silly!” Judy laughed trying to reach up again.

Gene brought his hand down and handed the package to Judy.  She looked inside and slid out an oblong black velvet box. Her eyes widened and she looked back to Gene.  He gestured for her to open it.  She did and gasped. Nestled against the black velvet was a delicate string of perfectly matched pearls held by a heart shaped ruby clasp. He reached in and flipped the clasp over.  Engraved on the back of the gold clasp was “GK”.Judy clasped the pearls in her hands and her eyes filled with tears.  Shaking her head, she was speechless.

“You have it, “Gene said, tapping his chest. “Thank you for everything –I mean EVERYTHING.  You made this all possible for me.  This is for that and everything else ….I wish I could say.”

He took the pearls from her, fastened them around her neck and cradled her face in his hands.  Their lips met and he could taste Judy’s tears flavoring their kisses.  Holding each other, they just watched the city, not wanting to let go.  The peaceful view, the soft cool air and Gene’s warm arms made Judy want to stay forever.  She snuggled against his chest.  He kissed her head and whispered,

“Let’s go somewhere; I’m not ready to let you go either, and I’m not spending the night in the car.”

 

Driving down toward the coast, they found a small motel that was made up of a series of cottages. Gene pulled in and asked for the cottage at the end that overlooked the beach. He paid with a wad of cash; that made the sleepy manager sit up and hand over the keys immediately.  They parked in front of the door; Gene slid the key into the lock and led Judy in.  The cottage was small and quaint, a tiny efficiency that housed a tiny kitchenette, a double bed and a table and chairs. What made it lovely were the French doors that opened up onto an awning-covered deck that looked out directly onto the beach. Gene opened the doors and stepped out. Turning back, he held out his hand.
 

“Come here,” he called softly.

 

Judy went into his arms and they looked at the moonlight over the water. Turning to her, Gene folded her into his arms, pressing whisper soft kisses against her lips. Her arms wrapped tightly around his waist and she whispered,

 

“Make love to me.”

 

He nodded and led her into the cottage, closing the doors against the chill that was rapidly coming in from the beach.  Pulling off their clothes, they slid under the covers. Seeing Judy naked except for his pearls around her neck was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen; his eyes never left hers as he slowly ran his hands over her skin, taking in every curve. When their lips met, the heat building up in them spilled into their fevered kisses. Judy cried out in pleasure as Gene pressed inside her. He was all she wanted and knowing this might be the last time they made love terrified her.
 
Morning came and the light awoke Judy.  Gene slept soundly, his arm flung around her waist, his face half buried into the pillow next to her shoulder.  Sleep made him look boyish and more vulnerable.  She smiled and watched him stir for a moment before he sighed and flopped on his back.  Judy slid softly out of the bed and put on Gene’s shirt, buttoning it up.  The bed was still cloaked in shadows, but she could see the morning sunlight outside on the deck and could feel the breeze off the ocean. She stepped up to the deck and leaned over the rail to watch early morning walkers on the beach.She reached up to touch the cool smoothness of the pearls around her throat and remembered the night before.  She had never felt so much passion and love.  She’d never felt it with her husband.  But it was through now. How would she, how could she go back to David after this?  She was afraid of dying inside, but she knew she had to let Gene go, at least for now.  They were moving on to their lives, to other pictures and soon they wouldn’t be seeing each other very often, if at all.

Judy felt his arms slide around her waist followed by Gene’s lips nuzzling the back of her neck.  He turned her around.  Standing there in the daylight, clad in only his shorts, his face was somber, compared to the tender affection of the previous night; taking her hand, he led her into the bedroom.She knew it was almost time to go and despite her efforts to hide it, her eyes were teary.  Settling on the edge of the bed, she smoothed the clothes she shed the night before.  Gene tried to find some coffee in the small kitchenette, but the cupboard came up bare.He pulled on his trousers, and told Judy he’d be right back, he’d go to the office for some.She was glad he left; it allowed her to try and gather her thoughts.  A shower, she thought, a shower always helps.  Judy entered the small white bathroom and flipped on the shower.  She let the steamy clouds billow up into the tub before she shed the shirt and climbed in. Standing under the spray, she closed her eyes. 

Between the water and the reverie of her thoughts, Judy didn’t hear the bathroom door open.  Gene parted the shower curtain and slid in behind her.  He gently ran his hands up her back and pulled her to him and they stood under the warm spray. Gene picked up a cake of soap and gently began washing Judy.  His touch, more loving than sexual, still thrilled her and she allowed him to lather her body; she returned the favor.  He was aroused, but didn’t make a move.  She took him in her hand, and while it made him shiver, Gene wouldn’t let her continue. Now was not the time. They held each other and as soap washed away, Judy whispered to Gene that she loved him.  He hugged her tightly and kissed her forehead and whispered, 

Oh, my darling girl". 

After the shower, they dressed and shared a cup of terrible coffee.  Quietly, they drove back to Metro’s lot.  Gene pulled his car into the spot behind Judy’s dressing room and they sat silently.  Now was the time to end things.  They turned to each other, both trying to say something, but they quickly gave up.  Words weren’t necessary.  Gene took Judy’s face in his hands and softly kissed her forehead. 

“I will see you soon,” Judy whispered. 

 

Gene, mute, shook his head.  Quickly, she slid out of the car and into the small back door.  Gene watched as she disappeared, then pulled down to his room.  He climbed the stairs and entered, throwing himself on the daybed.  He was sadder and more torn than he thought he’d ever be. Sprawling on his daybed, exhaustion overtook him. How was he going to go back? How would he be able to pretend it didn’t happen? He was no saint, but then Judy wasn’t just another girl. He was smitten and it hurt like hell.

 


© Copyright 2020 MyFiveOclockAngel. All rights reserved.

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