SCENE ONE: ERNESTO HAS TOLD HIS MAJORDOMO HANS THAT HE HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL PLANNED FOR THE OPENING NIGHT PRODUCTION OF FATAL PASSION, OPENING NIGHT WILL BE CLOSING NIGHT: SOMEONE WILL BE MURDERED.
SCENE TWO: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE IN THEIR CABIN AND HAVE JUST FINISHED DRESSING FOR THE PLAY. JACK IS IN A BLACK SUIT WITH BLACK SHIRT AND A BLACK AND WHITE TIE. HIS HAIR IS SLICKED BACK. JENNIFER IS STILL IN THE BATHROOM BUT IS RUNNING LINES WITH HIM.
JACK: Hear this tale,
JENNIFER: A tale of love,
JACK: A tale of grief,
JENNIFER: Jack it's not grief, it's woe.
JACK: I think grief sounds better. Besides when have you ever said, don't give me any woe, huh.
JENNIFER: Well the writer who wrote the play, wrote "woe."
JACK PICKS UP A MIRROR TO CHECK HIMSELF AND DECIDES THAT HE LOOKS GREAT.
JACK: Well the writer who wrote this is dead. It's not going to bother him anyway. A tale of grief....grief.
HE PLACES HIS HAND OVER HIS FOREHEAD IN A GESTURE OF MELODRAMA THEN THROWS HIMSELF ON THE BED. JENNIFER COMES OUT OF THE BATHROOM DRESSED IN A BEAUTIFUL WHITE LACE FROCK.
JENNIFER: Jack aren't you the one that said stick to the script, just do what the script says.
JACK: Did I say that?
JENNIFER: Yes you did. So if everyone else is going to go line for line then the least you can do is have the decency to do the same.
JACK: You could at least have the decency to get dressed in time. You're slower than molasses....JENNIFER: What's the matter, is something wrong?
JACK SITS UP AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SEES HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE LOOKS. HE RAISES HIS EYEBROWS AND SLOWLY RUNS HIS EYES OVER HER.
JACK: No....you look....beautiful!
JENNIFER IS VERY SURPRISED, AND *THRILLED*. SHE CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT SHE HEARD.
JENNIFER: Did you just say that I look beautiful?
JACK: (Embarrassed) I'm just stating a fact. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.
JENNIFER: Jack you never said anything like that to me before.
JACK: Look, all I just said was that you look....you look....ah....
JENNIFER: What? I look what?
JACK: You look....you know....
JENNIFER: "Beautiful!" That's what you said isn't it?
JACK: Well I might have said something to that effect, yes. But, (Nervous laugh, tries to change the subject.) ha, ha, ha, (Looking at his watch) look at the time. It's late. We really have to get going. We're going to be late.
JACK: Listen, it wouldn't be a melodrama without narrators.
JENNIFER: (Excited) It's happening.
JACK: (Slightly confused) It is?
JENNIFER: Just like I said it would, whether you admit it or not. We're getting closer and closer, out here on the high seas trapped together. And it's only going to get better so you may as well give in because there is nothing you can do about it. There's no place for you to hide. Goodbye.
SHE HANDS HIM HER PERFUME SPRAY AND WALKS OUT THE DOOR, GIVING HIM A BIG SMILE BEFORE SHE GOES. JACK SITS BACK ON THE BED AND LOOKS AT HIS SCRIPT.
JACK: A tale of woe....woe....whoa!
SCENE THREE: IT IS NOW TIME FOR THE ONE AND ONLY PERFORMANCE OF FATAL PASSION. EVERYONE IS SEATED AT THEIR TABLES WAITING FOR THE CURTAIN TO RISE. JULIE KISSES THE STAGE AND TAKES HER SEAT. THE CURTAIN RISES, JACK AND JENNIFER APPROACH FROM EACH SIDE OF THE STAGE.
JENNIFER: Give ear to us,JACK: And hear the tale,
JENNIFER: A tale of love,
JACK: A tale of woe! For love and woe are ever twined and hand in hand must ever go.
JENNIFER: Though woe the thorn for true love's a rose that never blooms amongst the bitter snow,
JACK: True love's a lie, all roses die, with worms and dust their requiem.
JENNIFER: Tomorrow morning with the sun, two lovers will be groom and bride.
JACK: But on this night, the father broods alone, and shows his darker side.
JENNIFER: A man of power, rich and proud. True love for him is long denied.
JACK: But now he vows to have his way.
JENNIFER: A father,
JENNIFER: And his beloved,JACK AND JENNIFER: (Together) Soon will dawn the wedding day.
SCENE FOUR: THE PLAY CONTINUES WITH THE EVIL FATHER TRYING TO PREVENT THE MARRIAGE OF HIS SON TO HIS BEAUTIFUL BRIDE. HE VOWS TO KILL IF NECESSARY. THE BRIDE IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE EVIL FATHER AND SHE CONVINCES THE GROOM TO TELL HIS FATHER THAT THEY WILL BE MARRIED.
SCENE FIVE: JACK AND JENNIFER TAKE THEIR POSITIONS NEXT TO BE PAINTING THAT IS COVERED BY A DARK CLOTH.
JACK: It would take but a gesture to alter his fate,
JENNIFER: But we're merely observers, we watch and we wait, like a dusty old portrait that stares from the wall.
JACK: We were there and we see, no one sees us at all.
JENNIFER: But a love that is lost with true love to give, can give all to his canvas,
JACK: And portraits can live.
ISABELLA ENTERS THE STAGE WHERE THE EVIL FATHER (VICTOR) IS WAITING. HE TELLS HER TO LEAVE HER HUSBAND AND COME TO HIM. JACK AND JENNIFER REVEAL THE PAINTING AND ISABELLA IS VERY NERVOUS. VICTOR IS THROWN BY IT AS WELL. THE PAINTING IS OF HER MOTHER WEARING THE EXACT SAME DRESS THAT ISABELLA HAS ON FOR THE PLAY. ROMAN PROMPTS EVERYBODY TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR LINES. JACK IS NOW VERY NERVOUS AND HE CREEPS BACK STAGE TO TALK TO ROMAN. HE PASSES ACROSS THE STAGE AND TRIES TO BE HIDE HIMSELF.
JACK: Roman, what the hell's going on with the portrait and the matching dress?
ROMAN: I don't know. Just get out there and keep this play moving.JACK: Right, right.
SCENE SIX: THE PLAY CONTINUES WITH THE EVIL FATHER AND HIS LOVE DANCING. THE TUNE IS HER MOTHER'S FAVORITE. THE HUSBAND (ROMAN) APPEARS AND WANTS TO TAKE HIS WIFE. SHE SAYS SHE MUST FOLLOW HER HEART.
JENNIFER: True love is joy,
JACK: True love is pain. Some lose a love,
JENNIFER: While others gain.
THE BRIDE AND GROOM REAPPEAR AND ARE MARRIED. THEY THEN LEAVE TO TELL THE EVIL FATHER.
JENNIFER: When lovers love true they must answer the call, then true love can give courage and love conquers all.JACK: When a story book ends, always love finds a way. But life's different from fairy tales, sorry to say. For some lovers happiness grows with each breath. But for others, it's misery, madness and....(Snapping his fingers) death!
SCENE SEVEN: ERNESTO IS WATCHING ALL THIS ON CLOSED CIRCUIT TV AND IS DELIGHTED IN THE MACABRE WAY IT IS GOING.
SCENE EIGHT: ON STAGE, ISABELLA, THE WIFE, PLEADS WITH HER HUSBAND TO LET HER GO. THE BRIDE AND GROOM COME TO TELL THE EVIL FATHER THAT THEY ARE MARRIED NOW. THE HUSBAND TELLS HIS WIFE THAT HE WILL KILL HER BEFORE LETTING HER GO. THE EVIL FATHER GETS THE GUN FROM THE DESK AND TELLS THE HUSBAND TO RELEASE HER. HE REFUSES. IT APPEARS THAT THE EVIL FATHER SHOOTS THE HUSBAND. ERNESTO HAD BO, THINKING HE WAS JOHNNY, SWITCH THE GUN WITH ONE WITH REAL BULLETS. HOWEVER, SINCE IT IS BO, HE DOES NOT DO SO.
SCENE ONE: EVERYBODY IS STILL ON STAGE; THE HUSBAND IS STILL LYING ON THE FLOOR. THE GUN WAS NOT USED BY THE EVIL FATHER BUT BY THE GROOM, HIS SON, WHO SHOT THE HUSBAND SO THAT THE FATHER COULD BE HAPPY. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS WAS NOT PART OF THE PLAY. THE BRIDE AND GROOM SAY THEY ARE LEAVING TO WANDER THE WORLD AND THE GROOM TELLS THE EVIL FATHER THAT HE CAN NOW BE HAPPY WITH THE WIFE. BO (THE GROOM) LEANS BACK ON THE DESK AND SECRETLY SWAPS THE GUNS. THE CURTAIN GOES DOWN AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
SCENE TWO: BO SAYS THAT HE WAS JUST BEING CREATIVE AND HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE HIS CHARACTER THAT WOULD HAVE PULLED THE TRIGGER SO HE DID. ROMAN IS ANGRY THAT BO DID NOT STICK TO THE SCRIPT SO THAT THEY COULD FLUSH OUT THE VILLAIN. BO SAYSTHAT HE WAS LEFT A FEW PAGES WITH SCRIPT CHANGES, WHICH HE FOLLOWED. JACK AND JENNIFER JUST WATCH AS THE OTHERS ARGUE.
JACK: Hell of an opening night, huh. I can't wait to see the reviews!
JENNIFER HITS HIM.
JENNIFER: Jack, will you just stop it.
EVERYBODY IS TIRED AND DECIDE TO CALL IT A NIGHT.
JACK: Sounds like our cue Miss Horton. Isabella.
JENNIFER: Come on Jack.
ROMAN: Just one second, Jack!
JACK: Me, Jack?
ROMAN: Yeah. There's something else that's kind of bothering me about this cruise here. I thought you two could help me with it.
JACK: Oh certainly, always most happy to oblige friends and neighbors.
ROMAN: Good. You know I said that everybody had a direct connection to one of three people. The Toscanos and Kiriakis.
JACK: Yeah right.
ROMAN: Then what exactly are you two doing here? (Beat) Okay so everyone on this cruise has some kind of connection to the Toscanos or Kiriakis, except you two. So I'm going to ask you once again. Why are you here?
JACK AND JENNIFER CONTINUE TO TRY AND AVOID ROMAN'S QUESTIONS. JENNIFER IS TANDING IN FRONT OF JACK FOR SUPPORT.
JACK: We....well we both know Isabella.
ROMAN: Jennifer, you're being awfully quiet about this whole thing aren't you?
JENNIFER: Well I....
JACK: Well why not? She has nothing to say, and she doesn't, do you?
JENNIFER: I really have nothing to say.
JACK: See! You know Roman, I think the salty sea air is getting to you. We came on as reporters, reporting on this whole cruise. You knew that from the beginning.
ROMAN: Yeah right, then maybe you can answer a question for me Jack. Why would Ernesto Toscano want to bring along some reporters to cover a memorial cruise for his wife?
JACK: Well I really can't help you there. I mean I never met the man.
ROMAN: And what do you think Jennifer?
JENNIFER: Well I....
JACK: Well actually he was a very wealthy man and he had these strange idiosyncrasies that the like to do with his money and....well if he was here we could ask him. But unfortunately for everybody here, that's not an option.
JENNIFER: Yes, I mean we were supposed to be playing a role, weren't we. It was written right into the play. We were the observers. Mr. Toscano knew that there would be reporters here and that's what he wanted.
JACK: Absolutely! Absolutely! Now I know why I'm here and I don't have any problems with the more rational rationale that we've given you so if you still have a problem with it, I guess you're the only one left. Right Miss H?
JENNIFER: Right Jack.
ROMAN: So that's all you have to say?
JACK: That's all folks!
ROMAN: Jennifer, I'm asking you. I want you to look me right in the eye and I want you to tell me that the only reason you're on this cruise is to cover a story and nothing else.
JENNIFER IS VERY NERVOUS AND LOOKS UP AT JACK.
ROMAN: Look at me!
JACK: Roman, I really don't think this is fair. Remember the First Amendment, freedom of the press and all that.
ROMAN: I'm just trying to get the truth Jack.
JACK: And she's just trying to get a story. She's a good reporter. She has instinct enough to know when she smells a good piece. This could be her big break.
ROMAN: What about you?
JACK: Well I can smell it too. That's why I'm here writing it up for The Spectator.
ROMAN: A stonewall, huh! Okay, what the hell. I've been imagining the whole thing here. I mean you guys haven't really been acting suspicious since you stepped on board this ship, have you.
ROMAN: Jennifer, right now, you tell me that this whole thing is on the up and up and I'm going to let it go. But before you answer me, put that mind in gear. There's a lot at stake here including some lives. I have no time for games. What's it going to be?
JENNIFER IS ABOUT TO SPILL THE BEANS WHEN ISABELLA INTERFERES AND BEGS ROMAN TO LAY OFF. SHE TELLS HIM THAT JACK AND JENNIFER WOULD TELL THE TRUTH IF THEY KNEW IT.
JACK: Thank you, thank you Isabella. Now if that concludes the line-up, I'm more than happy to get out of this costume and hit the shower. Right Miss H?
JENNIFER: Right. I say yes.
JACK: Yes, yes. So goodbye. I can't tell you how tiring rhyming dialogue is. Adieu, adieu, adieu!
THEY GO BACK TO THEIR CABIN.
SCENE THREE: A WHILE LATER JACK AND JENNIFER ARE IN THEIR CABIN.
JACK: Don't worry about it.
JENNIFER: I can't help it Jack. If you didn't say anything I don't know what I would have done.
JACK: Look, I did say something. I was there with you. Nobody said anything out of turn. So don't worry about it. It's all over.
JENNIFER: Oh yeah, for right now. Roman's not going to give up and what about Victor. He's started asking questions.
JACK: So let him ask.
JENNIFER: Sooner or later they are going to find out about these pages and....
JACK CLAMPS HIS HAND OVER HER MOUTH.
JACK: No, not if we keep our mouths shut like good little boys and girls, for Isabella's sake. We are reporters, reporting on this story of this cruise. And after that I know nothing, I see nothing and neither do you.
JENNIFER: Right. I'm here to work on a story. I have notes to type up. Who knows I may even get a magazine piece out of this the way things are going.
JACK: You never know.
JENNIFER: I'm going to write the best story ever written. The best story anybody's ever written. You wait and see.
SHE GRABS HER LAPTOP, SETS IT UP ON THE DESK, AND STARTS TO TYPE MADLY.
JACK LEANS OVER TO SEE WHAT SHE IS TYPING.
JACK: Ah Jennifer.
JACK: You want to stop for a minute?
JENNIFER: Jack I'm working.
HE GRABS HER HAND.
JACK: Jennifer just....
JENNIFER: Jack this is important. You don't like it when I bother you when you're working do you?
JACK: No not when I'm working but this is not work. "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
JACK GOES AND SITS ON THE BED.
JENNIFER: Okay, I was warming up the computer.
JACK: You weren't. You're hiding.
JENNIFER: What's that supposed to mean?
JACK HAS LET GO OF HIS DEFENSES. HE IS BEING SERIOUS AND EXTREMELY CARING.
JACK: Your feelings....you're hiding you're feelings aren't you?
JENNIFER: That's a switch huh?
JACK: Why? (Beat) Jennifer, why?
JENNIFER IS SURPRISED AND HAPPY THAT JACK SEEMS TO BE OPENING ABOUT HIS FEELINGS FOR HER.
JENNIFER: I didn't think you were interested in how I was feeling. You never were before.
JACK: Well maybe that's because I was too busy.... (Thinking) hiding myself.
JENNIFER: But you're not now?
JACK: Look you're scared right. It's okay, admit it. Nobody here but us chickens.
JENNIFER: Alright Jack, yes I'm scared. I'm more scared than I've ever been in my entire life.
JACK: It's okay if you're scared. We're all scared.
JENNIFER: You too?
JACK: Well....maybe a little, (Beat) sometimes.
JENNIFER: I can't believe that we're talking about this and you're not even....
JACK: Not even what?
JENNIFER: You're not even trying to run away and pretend you're not feeling anything.
JACK: Do I do that?
JENNIFER: Yes Jack.
JACK: Maybe, sometimes.
JENNIFER: Jack I was petrified. When that gun went off and I saw Bo with it, it all hit me at once. You were right all along. There is something going on and it's real and it's dangerous and someone is going to end up getting hurt.
JACK: Oh come on, who are you kidding. You've been in tighter situations than this and you can handle it.
JENNIFER: Like when Jack?
JACK: Like back in Salem when Tyson and Frasier were attacking me in the warehouse. You know, when they were after the p....the pages. You knew what was in there and you got it off me anyway. You were putting yourself in danger to take care of me. Who knows, you might even have saved my life.
JENNIFER: That was different.
JENNIFER: I don't know, it just was. Everything was different. Something about it wasn't real. I mean I was home and my family was around us and it was like a movie. It was like our own little adventure. Stupid, huh.
JACK: Yeah, now that I think of it, maybe it is.
JENNIFER: But all that time, as long as we were together, it didn't matter what was happening around us. Because when I was with you I felt like I was safe, like nothing could hurt us.
JACK: I'm still with you. Jennifer nothing's going to happen to you.
JACK: I promise!
JENNIFER: I believe you. (Beat) Jack can I ask you a favor?
JACK: Sure, sure.
JENNIFER: Okay. I know how you feel about me and about getting close to me.
JACK: (Scared and nervous) Yeah.
JENNIFER: But would it be okay if....I mean would you mind....just holding me....please? Please.
JACK SLOWLY EXTENDS HIS HAND TO HER AND SHE MOVES OVER NEXT TO HIM ON THE BED. THEY WRAP THEIR ARMS AROUND EACH OTHER AND HOLD ON TIGHT. JACK SLOWLY RUBS HER BACK.
SCENE FOUR: THEY STAY THAT WAY FOR A FEW MINUTES THEN JACK FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE.
JACK: Is this (His voice cracking) helping?
JACK: Good. I'm glad.
JENNIFER: Me too, Jack.
JACK: We can't stay like this forever you know.
JENNIFER: No I don't.
SHE RELUCTANTLY LETS GO OF HIM BUT SLOWLY MOVES HER FACE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS SO THAT THEIR NOSES ARE TOUCHING.JENNIFER: Yes.
JACK: We....we have to think, to think, think....
JACK STANDS UP AND MOVES AWAY FROM HER.
JACK: ....of a way to keep the pages secret and keep ourselves safe at the same time.
JENNIFER: Alright Jack what do we have to do?
JACK: Well we have to make sure that we don't....we don't answer anymore questions. That way we won't screw up....you know.
JENNIFER: Okay, so we just stay in here.
JACK: (Stuttering) P-P-Permanently?
JENNIFER: As much as we can. To avoid Victor and Roman.
JACK: Well....if that's the way it's got to be.
JACK TURNS AROUND AND PUTS HIS HANDS DOWN HIS PANTS. JENNIFER IS VERY SURPRISED AT WHAT HE IS ABOUT TO DO.
JACK: Yeah, that's the important thing. Take good care of this.
HE PRODUCES THE PAGES FROM OUT OF HIS PANTS.
JACK: Yeah. What if....people are going to wonder where we are.
JENNIFER: Oh no, I don't think they'll wonder Jack.
JACK: Yeah? (Beat. Realizing what she means.) Oh yeah, yeah. I guess you're right. Hmmm, well that's alright. That'll make things easier....in a way.
JENNIFER: You know when I got this invitation I thought this is great, I need a vacation. I can sit out by the pool all day, dance in the ballroom all night and still come home with a terrific story. And now look, I mean here we are stuck in this stuffy little room, the computer's on and there's plenty of work to keep both of us busy.
JACK: Heheheh. Kind of like old times.
JENNIFER: Kind of.
JACK: Well that's the journalism biz. Guess we're going to be on top of each another, (He realizes the double meaning of what he said and is embarrassed.) I mean so to speak, for quite some time. So we'll just stick to the ground rules and make the best of it. You write your story and I'll write mine and....ah....sooner or later we'll come up with something.
JACK: Yeah, you know, a plan, a course of action, the next move, soo....sooner or later.
JENNIFER: Sooner or later. So I guess we just do the best we can.
JACK: I guess.
JENNIFER: Right, well.....I'm really kind of tired. Not used to performing you know.
JENNIFER SQUEEZES PAST JACK.
JACK: Yeah, yeah I know what you mean.
JACK GLANCES DOWN AT HIS PANTS.
JENNIFER: So I guess I'll just get ready for bed. Unless you want to use it first.
JACK: No, no, hit the head. I mean go ahead, you're the.....you're the lady.
SHE SQUEEZES PAST HIM AGAIN TO GET TO THE BATHROOM.
JENNIFER: I lied. What I said before about being cooped up here in this room and not knowing what's going to happen to us or anybody else, well the truth is, I don't really mind at all. I just thought you'd want to know.
JACK HAS HIS BACK TO JENNIFER AS SHE IS SPEAKING AND HE BREAKS OUT IN A BIG SMILE.