"I really donít think I should go." Christine said looking from one beseeching face to the other.
"Please Mama, we want you to so much," Diana asked in a sweet voice hugging her mother and looking at her with big, round, puppy dog eyes.
"Auntie, you canít be more wrong. You are so very important to me and that made you essential to the film." Julie added bringing her arms around both woman bringing them close to her heart physically where they already were emotionally.
"Girls, come now. Iíd stick out like a sore thumb."
"Tom invited you, Auntie."
"He was being polite."
"Tom Ďs a movie star. He doesnít have to be polite. He likes you and wants you to come. Doesnít he Squirt?"
"Yes, Mama he does. He has shown you that. Didnít he invite you to lunch several times and he invited you to his birthday party. He likes you Mama. He doesnít have to do anything he doesnít want to. Besides Jules and I bought you a beautiful dress..."
"Cost a fortune, and it's an original, Auntie. I canít take it back," Julie said sincerely thinking with an inner smile, ĎGood thinking, My Love.í
Christine looked stunned. She looked from blue eyes to green to blue again and knew she had just lost the argument.
"Ok girls, it looks like Iím going to my first Hollywood Party."
Two big beautiful smiles flashed before her and Christine thought, ĎHow can I say no to that?í
* * * * *
"Jules, do you think you can help me?" Diana asked with her back to her love.
"Now, how would you like my help, my love? Should make myself happy and bring the zipper down or should I satisfy the social mores and bring it up?"
Dianaís back was turning pink as the words sunk in. She looked over her shoulder shyly, "Jules..."
Julie laughed gently and zipped her up. "Ok, ok," She said quietly, kissing the lovely neck. "I donít get to have any fun..."
Diana turned around still in her lovers arms and said, "Oh, I donít know. I think you will have the fun of bringing this the other way later..." Warm sensual lips interrupted her midsentence. Then a knock on the door made them both jump. They looked at each other and smiled as they each resumed their rituals of dressing.
"Come in," Julie called as she went to the mirror to put on her earrings and brush her bangs.
"You both look lovely," Christine said as she walked in smiling.
"Told you so, Squirt," She said to the shy blonde as she brushed her hair.
"No Jules, You said I look drop dead gorgeous, which I donít..."
"No, you look drop dead gorgeous. I look merely cute."
"Hardly! Doesnít she look drop dead gorgeous, Auntie?"
"Oh no you donít. Iím not going to get in the middle of one of these. I can tell you my darling daughter that you do look more then cute, though."
* * * * *
The three woman entered Tom Mixís back yard which had been transformed into a desert set. Diana and her mother were both overwhelmed by the lushness of the surroundings and the fame and wealth of the crowd. They both stuck by Julie who found the display a rather silly Hollywood show but knew it was expected of Tom and his wife and took it in her stride.
One person's eyes in the crowd did not follow the threesome in admiration. No this player watched them pass with greed and hate. The man stayed out of Julieís scope but watched her with all the ugliness that jealously develops and this person was very, very ugly inside.
Julie felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and she looked carefully for the danger but saw none. She trusted her instincts and brought her arms protectively around Christine and Diana whispering, "I just got that feeling, so stay close to me you two."
Both woman looked at Julie in surprise. Her voice was calm but as Diana looked at her she saw that veneer of danger that she hadnít seen in quite some time.
"Jules, we are close and I donít think we had any intention of moving out of your sight. Whatís wrong?"
"I donít know, Squirt. I just feel the presence of something evil. Something watching us with cruelty. Let's just make this a short evening. Ok?"
"Fine by me," Replied Christine now doubly uncomfortable.
"Yes, I really donít want to stay either. Let's just say hello to Tom and go."
Julie nodded and briskly led her family toward their host. She was fearful that this evil would follow them home. Unfortunately her instincts were right. It was about to do just that.
* * * *
The next morning Julie and Diana were out for their run when the phone rang. Christine who was just fininshing cooking breakfast answered it, "Hello."
"Do you know what those two perverts you live with do at night?" said an unfamiliar voice in her ear.
Christine blinked and stared at the creamy white instrument like it was a snake.
"Damn it lady are you blind or just plain stupid?"
"Who is this?"
"A friend to you. Get the hell out of there before all hell breaks loose."
"What are you talking about?" She was now shaking.
There was a cruel laugh on the phone followed by, "Youíll see."
Then there was a click and the dial tone.
Just then the door burst open and Christine screamed. Julie and Diana were both shocked by the reaction and ran to the frightened woman.
"What's wrong Mama?"
"Auntie darling, you're shaking like a leaf, " She gently led her God-Mother to a chair at the kitchen table. The older woman was now shaking and crying, the girls were desperately trying to calm her.
Finally taking a deep breath she looked at the two younger woman and said shakily, "I just got a horrible phone call."
Julie was suddenly very alert and took both Christineís hands in hers asking quietly, "What did the person say?"
"He said I was blind and stupid. That you two were perverts and all hell was going to break loose," Then Christine broke down and was sobbing onto Julieís shoulder.
Julie carefully placed Christine in her daughter's waiting arms and began to pace the kitchen her face becoming a mask of pure rage. "He did, did he? Weíll just see about that. Take your Mom to her room and stay with her. I need to make a few telephone calls..."
"Donít ask questions right now! You really donít want to know the answers..."
"No, sweetheart, believe me you don't. Now you two go on up..." she gently nudged the two most important people in her life up the back stairs. She watched to make sure they both went all the way up them before she approached the phone.
ĎWell I never thought Iíd need a favor from this person, but he does owe me 10 or 12.í She smiled grimly to herself as she dialed a number from memory.
* * * *
Christine was in a little ball in her bed being taken care of by a very worried Diana. She was worried about both her mother and that horrible angry look that had come over Julieís face. She hadnít seen that look for a very long time, though she remembered that there was time she was rarely with out it. When Diana was a very little girl and Julie was teenager she ran for the mob. She was abandoned and angry. The only time she was the real Julie was in her their house. It was a scary time. Julie finally found modeling and left that life never looking back.
"Oh Mama, please rest, " As she brushed back her mother's hair and rubbed her shoulder in a soothing gesture.
"Why did he call you perverts?"
"I asked you a simple question, young lady."
"I know it was an evil man but he talked like he knew something that I didnít. So what did he mean?"
"Mama, I really donít think that this is the time for this discussion, you're hysterical and..."
"Diana Jane, why did that man say that about you?"
"Because..." Dianaís mouth was quivering and suddenly she couldnít stand anymore. Then there was a set of strong arms around her. She was gently being guided to a chair by the dressing table. Julie looked at her love sadly then turned grimly toward her God-Mother, "Because in a way, Auntie I guess the world might see that as true. The blackmailer knows that this will ruin my career ..."
"But what is it?"
Julie took a deep breath, walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. She looked at the only person in her life that she would have called a mother figure and knew what she was about to say could ruin everything. Then she looked at Diana. She was crying but she nodded her head indicating that Julie should tell Christine the truth.
"Auntie, this will probably destroy our relationship but you deserve the truth because I do love you. We...Diana and I ..are..well we're in..love." She finally said quietly and then closed her eyes waiting for God-Mother to explode into a thousand little pieces.
Christine looked at her daughter who nodded her head and then looked at her beloved God-Daughter who looked like the roof was about to collapse on top of her. ĎIt's an adjustment and bit of shock. But I still love them both deeply,í She thought to herself.
"Julie," Bringing her God-Daughterís head up with the tip of her fingers, "I think I already knew."
Julieís eyes widened, "And?" She asked shyly.
"I only have one question. Did you seduce my..."
"No Mama! She didnít. She couldnít.. She wouldnít do something like that...I..."
Julie held her arms out to the younger woman and Diana gladly ran into them. Julie hushed and comforted her for a few moments then looked up at her God-Mother and quietly said, "No Auntie. It was gradual and mutual. I couldnít force this little sprite to do anything, you know? Sheís too stubborn and I love her far too much. We just... It just happened, Auntie, we didnít..."
"Okay, okay. I understand. Iím very hurt but I understand..."
"Yes hurt, Diana. Why couldnít you two confide in me before? Why didnít you trust me?"She looked at the two girls and started to cry again.
Julie and Diana both enveloped her in an embrace. Then Julie answered quietly, "We didnít want to shock or anger you. We both love you dearly but you are Dianaís mother and..."
"I love you both unconditionally, Damn it! What the hell do I have to do to prove that to you.?"
Diana and Julie looked at each other then the older woman.
"You just did Mama."
* * * * *
After finally settling Christine down to take a nap, Julie's next task was to try to soothe her young loveís bruised spirit. She was cuddling Diana in their bed and reassuring her with soothing words while her mind tried to work out a plan to bring the black- mailer out into the open so she could get the son of a bitch.
"Yes, my love."
"Mama really loves you."
"Yes, I know that..."
"She accepts us, you know..."
"Not totally, my love. She does love us deeply enough not to let her doubts destroy our bond though."
"What do you mean?"
"She loves us both fiercly. Because of that, even though it goes against her religious training she will accept this. I canít blame her for that. Iím just grateful that she loves us enough to allow us our... freedom."
"So it isnít Mama that has put this expression on your face?"
"What expression?" Julie looked deep into concerned green eyes and kissed the little nose in front of her.
Diana smiled but she pulled back, "You canít distract me, my love. You have that expression that you had when you were a teenager and you became a runner..."
"How did you know..."
"You told me..."
"Yes, you did. I was 6 years old and you figured that I didnít know what you were talking about anyway, so you told me one day while we were playing in my room because you were scared... Jules you're not..."
"No, my smart little brat! Iím not." Julie kissed her deeply and it was returned in earnest but when Julie pulled back she saw by the expression on Dianaís face that she wasnít going to accept anything but the truth.
Julie took a deep breath and shifted slightly so she was looking out the window. "Out there, Diana is someone who hates me enough to try and destroy everything I love and care about. I have to fight him. The only way I can do that is to get some powerful allies. I ...already called someone to...well I am owed a few favors and Iím about to collect on them to make sure we're all right."
Julie hugged Diana tightly, "That is a very a good question. It is still to be determined. Iím meeting an old acquaintance for lunch tomorrow to discuss it."
"Will it be dangerous?"
"Not to you or your mother."
"I donít know yet, Sweetheart."
"Please donít..."Diana started to cry.
Julie tightened her embrace and petted her hair, "I will be fine, I promise my love, I promise."
"Really?" Tear-filled eyes looked up at her.
"Really, my love and you know I always keep my promises."
The Coconut Grove was empty as Julie entered it. This was not a meeting that she was looking forward to but it was nesscary.
Mickey Cohen watched as the tall beauty entered the night club. She wore a cream silk blouse and black slacks with gold shoes and matching jewelry. She dressed with her usual casual elegance but he could see that she was still deadly.
"You look as beautiful as always, Jules."
"Thanks. Look Mick can we cut the small talk? I'm really anxious to talk business. I need to get it over quickly and get back to my family." Julie said quietly, sitting briskly across from the powerful crime boss.
"Sure Baby. What's the problem?"
Julie smiled at the "Baby". That was what they called her when she was a runner because she was so young. Then her face dimmed slightly as she answered her former cheif, "Iím being blackmailed, Mick."
"Nothing yet, he has only talked to my family not me, yet. I need to nip this in the bud, Mick"
"I see. Whatís the bastard got?"
"You wouldnít approve, Mick."
"Youíd be surprised, Baby."
"All right..."Julie took a deep breath, "Iím in love with a woman."
Mickey raised an eyebrow, " A lot of broken hearts in the male population Iíd say..."
Julieís eyebrows shot up, "What?"
Mickey laughed, "In my line of work, Baby, Iíve seen it all. No it does not shock me. I take it that this is a good person and you want to protect her?"
Julie merely nodded.
"Do you want to be involved in the show down?"
"You bet your ass I do!"
"I see. Okay I think we can work something out."
"I donít owe a damn thing for this, Mickey..."
"I know that, Baby. You gave us a lot in the old days before you went straight. No I think Iíll take a great pleasure in hurting this scum bag."
Julie smiled and sat back thinking, ĎOh Man, I canít wait till this comes down you piece of shit. You picked the wrong victim this time and you're going to pay a high price for this mistake I promise you and like I told Diana I always keep my promises.
* * * *
Diana was pacing in the living room waiting for Julie to return from her meeting when the phone rang. She stared at the phone then slowly went over and picked up the receiver hoping it was Julie. It wasnít.
"Well if it isnít the Moviestarís whore."
"Who is this?"
"Never mind that. I really enjoyed talking to your mother."
"What do you want from us?"
"Money of course. How about $20,000 to start?"
"What?" Diana nearly dropped the phone.
"Now, now I think that's quite reasonable. If I were to add that Daddy Dearest is in the good old nut house, I should probably increase it to $40,000."
"How do you know this..."
"Just tell that Bitch what I said," And then there was a dial tone in her ear. Diana stood there staring at the phone she had in her hand in shock. She was shaking and crying.
Christine came into the living room to find her daughter staring blindly at the receiver in her hand. She slowly approached her daughter, "Honey..."
"Oh Mama," Diana dropped the phone and threw her arms around her motherís neck. Christine enfolded the desperately sobbing girl in her arms.
Julie found Christine trying to calm the young woman. She dropped her purse and ran to her love.
"What the hell happened?" She asked as she gently enfolded both woman in her strong, comforting arms.
"I donít know honey, this is how I found her."
"Come here, baby." Julie gently untangled Diana from Christine and took the hysterical girl fully in her own arms. Over Dianaís head she looked beseechingly at her God-Mother and asked, "Could you get her some hot tea, Auntie?"
Christine smiled weakly, ĎNow I really see why I must accept this, my God she loves her so much.í Christine thought to herself as she nodded her head and went to the kitchen.
Diana slowly calmed in Julieís comforting arms and as she breathed a little easier she could understand the comforting endearments that Julie was whispering in her ear.
Julie heard Dianaís breathing even out and she slowly backed up a little so she could see her love's face. She gently wiped her eyes and kissed her lovingly on the forehead. She asked her very quietly, "Can you tell me what happened?"
Diana nodded and took a deep breath feeling better just having Julie near her again, "It was a man. I think it was the same one Mama spoke heard from. He wants $40,000 Julie!"
"Shhh, it's ok, sweetheart. What else did the bastard say?"
Julie was still hugging her and patting her back in slow rhythmic movements. She was trying to soothe her while getting the information they needed.
"Oh Julie, he found out about Daddy in the sanitarium. That's why heís asking for so much. He wants to destroy us." She broke down crying again.
"How the hell did find out about that? Who the hell is this guy?" She asked quietly but intensely.
"I donít know...I..."
"Shhh, it's ok...Iíve got a plan in motion. He will not get away with this, sweetheart. I promise you, I promise." She gently lifted Dianaís chin and looked into her eyes. "Iíve never broken a promise to you, have I?"
"No," Said a very teary voice. "Julie, What's your plan?"
Julie didnít want to tell her about Mickey. She didnít want to lie to her either. "Diana I canít tell anyone that, not even you. I need you to trust me on this. Can you do that?"
Diana had a feeling that she didnít want to know, but she did trust Julie. "I trust you, my love. Iím just scared..."
"I know...I am too. I just need some time to get the plan into action. This man has way too much information and I really donít want to say anything out loud. He may have a listening device. I...Diana I may..." ĎDamn, how do I tell her how dangerous this is...íJulie was thinking to herself.
Diana looked up at her and smiled bravely breaking Julie's heart in the process, "I understand...you're protecting us. Iím just...scared...I want us to be...safe I guess."
"I know, sweetheart. I do too. I just donít understand how anyone at the studio could know our private business. How do they know about your father?"
Christine had reentered the room, "They know about my husband?"
"Yes Mama. He said it on the phone."
"Julie, what are we going to do?" Christine asked, as scared as her daughter was now.
"We are going to win!"
end part five
to be continued.....
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