Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 7 of What Lies Beneath the Mask, this is one of the first scenes that I wrote for the book and is the first time that Jack and Annabelle kiss! What Lies Beneath the Mask is on Kindle Scout now! You can check it out here!
“What are you doing up here? Not avoiding me are you?” He asked smiling slightly. I sighed, even though he was partly right there was no way I could avoid him now.
“I’m trying to work out the steps for Masquerade. I know how it’s supposed to look in my head but in reality…” I trailed off and shrugged.
“Wouldn’t it be easier with two people?” He cocked his head to the side as he asked in a move that made him look beyond cute.
“I guess, but everyone’s busy.”
“I’m not.” He gently took my iPod from me and connected it to the portable speakers I’d brought with me in case I wanted to use them. Ear buds worked fine but sometimes I needed to hear music without them to help me plan the staging. He restarted the track before coming back and taking my hand.
“So we walk on stage when?” He asked and I shook my head.
“You’ll already be on stage. The lights will be down and a spotlight will be on Firmin and André while they do their thing.” I was only half speaking to Jack as vocalising helped me to picture the scene. “Carlotta and Piangi will be at centre stage with Meg and Giry to their left and right ready to dance with the two owners. Raoul and Christine will be closer to the back at the beginning of the song so that they’re in the right position on the stage further on in the song.” I listed off where each of the characters would be while Jack listened patiently.
The lone pipe organ started to play and I get myself completely into the zone. “The man bows to his partner and then moves around her with staccato movements until he is back where he started.” I said and noticed that Jack was moving exactly as I directed.
“Like this?” I nodded and then copied him but with a courtesy instead of a bow. We worked on the introductory moments for a while and I couldn’t help but notice just how well Jack was responding to my instructions; if only the rest of the cast were this easy to teach. It was almost as if Jack could see exactly what I wanted in my head when he pulled me into a standard ballroom hold without me having to say anything. It was at exactly the right moment in the music and he spun me around. This was going to be one of the trickier parts; Christine and Raoul only sang the one line while in this line-up but I needed to make sure that they were at the front to do it; unfortunately that was something I probably needed to work out when I had a stage full of cast members.
“So the first time Christine and Raoul break away from the chorus dancers is when they’re singing about their engagement?” I beamed. He’d got exactly what I was trying to do in this scene without me having to explain it. Which was good because I couldn’t see Merry going for anything that made her fade into the background.
“Yes, I want them to drop their hold when they get to stage left and begin to sing. The chorus will continue dancing and the other leads will join them once they’ve sung their bit.” The cue in the music came and we broke the hold, though Jack still kept hold of my hand. He was also mouthing his lines in the song in an exaggerated manner and I couldn’t help but giggle.
“And when they’ve finished singing?” He broke character to ask.
“Raoul pulls Chrisitne back into hold in with the…” I stopped, struggling to think of the term for what happened in the music. “…flourish in the music. Then the cast will waltz, either in a circle or in a figure of eight, I haven’t decided yet. We…erm, Raoul and Christine I mean, will end up in the middle.” I then planned for the two of them to kiss during the musical phrase from All I Ask of You, but I wasn’t about to tell Jack that. Reminding him of Merry was not what I wanted to do right now. Once again Jack had easily followed my direction and we waltzed around the room until the music began to slow. The two of us stopped dancing and looked into each other’s eyes; his expression was doing funny things to me, almost as if my heart was skipping a beat and butterflies were going crazy in my stomach at the same time. And then, exactly when I wanted it in the music, he cupped my cheek, leaned forward and kissed me. The moment ours lips touched I forgot everything. There was no music or show, or even Annabelle and Jack; there was just this moment.
A crash sounded from somewhere close by and we jumped apart. My fingers flew to my lips and before I knew I did the only thing that I could think of; I ran.
What Lies Beneath the Mask is on Kindle Scout now! You can check it out here, where you can find more information and the first 5 chapters!
3 years ago, assistant director and aspiring concept artist Annabelle escaped from an abusive relationship, and now the past is back to haunt her. Feeling herself drawn to the handsome and charming star of her amateur theatre group’s production of the Phantom of the Opera, Annabelle has to fight her demons if she’s to follow her heart. But is Jack enough to free her from her memories, or has her ex-boyfriend still got her in his grasp?
Loosely based on the Phantom of the Opera.