by karenk

Disclaimers: Characters are mine. Well, some were named after real people. Story is mine but I was inspired by the song of the same name by A1 (as well as another song called Fool Again by Westlife). I mean no copyright infringement. Also, I have to mention, as always, my entire writing experience was inspired by Xena, so full credit to them and everyone involved in the show. Also, same sex relationship alert. It's all very mild, no hint of R anywhere but if that ain't your cup of tea, don't drink it.

Special dedication: To the Duvs - you know who you are.

Fade in:

"Boss?" the young woman stood in front of her boss who was looked to be staring into deep space. She reached out a tentative hand, hating to have to disturb her employer but having no other choice. Her boss, the world famous singer-turned-director, Lane Lawson, had three meetings today, the first of which was scheduled to begin in 10 minutes.

"Lane?" the executive assistant tried again to no avail. Even a gentle nudge on Lane's shoulder could not break the seeming trance that the director was in. She sighed as she turned to leave the room, she'll just have to push those meetings back slightly.

"I'm okay, Ailie," Lane was finally ready to face yet another day full of meetings in preparations for her now widely anticipated and expected yearly blockbuster movie, "But just what is that hanging at your side? Is it what I think it is?" she swung her high-backed leather chair from the great view of the city her window afforded her.

Ailie turned towards her boss again, her bright and constant smile on her face as she proudly modeled her new plastic toy, "Yup! I caught this incredible double-splitting chakram throw with both hands yesterday… too bad our 'camerawoman' was busy chatting with others and missed capturing it on video… 'on a break', she said… huh! Lame excuse."

Lane had to chuckle at the fake tone of indignation her assistant took, "I'm sure she was sorry she missed the shot."

"Okay! Boss has smiled, the day can now officially begin!" the perky blonde almost clapped her hands while whipping out her PDA.

Lane just nodded her head.

"Right, Darren and Jes are waiting in Con 1 with the rewrites. I've scheduled Peg, your DOP for this movie, in two hours for your next meeting. And your day will wrap up with a production meeting after lunch with Charlotte and Cath. Jess… your agent Jess, not the writer Jes… wants a short meeting with you whenever you think is most convenient, she did say it's pretty urgent. Your press hound, oops, sorry… agent, Sharon, would also like a word with you. I think it's um…" Ailie finally took a breath at this point as she glanced up from her PDA at her raven-haired boss.

Whose eyebrow had gone up a notch at her assistant's uncharacteristic stumble. Ailie gave a sheepish grin as she continued in one big breath, "I think it has to do with today's news that Angelinehasbrokenupwiththatgolfplayer."

Lane's breath caught, as always, whenever any mention of her ex-lover was made, but she willed her voice to remain even, "What does Angeline's break up have got to do with me? After all, we broke up almost four years ago." Lane swiveled her chair back to face the window, not noticing the shrug Ailie had given her in reply.

"Guess I'll be having lunch with both my agents today, Ailie. Make the arrangements, will ya? And tell Darren and Jes to go through my latest revisions first, I'll be a while more."

"Sure thing, boss." Ailie replied, leaving quietly and closing the door behind her.

Lane Lawson had stunned the entertainment world almost four years ago when she announced her retirement from performing at the age of 26. She was at the peak of her popularity, at the very height of her success. But she was tired. Tired of the almost constant touring and fending off the constant temptations that came along with life on the road. But she was wrong, temptations came in all shapes and forms and could be found anywhere. She had prided herself for never truly succumbing to any of the temptations that came her way via the form of all the various groupies that she encountered everywhere she went. She came very close once but Angeline was there to break things up before it went too far.

Angeline… the reason Lane never needed anyone else was because she was in love with Angeline Clark. The tall, willowy blonde with striking green eyes and her had been together for almost seven years. One tall, dark and handsome, the other tall, light and gorgeous. They made a visually striking couple and most of the time they were together was spent on the road until Angeline appeared in one of her music videos and started getting modeling and acting offers from everyone. Lane could not have been happier for her angel. But Angeline's increasing fame led to all sorts of complications in their lives. One of which was, without her angel on the road with her, Lane could feel herself starting to develop a wandering eye much to her dismay. But all that, Lane thought, would come to an end when she announced her retirement from the stage. Besides, she always wanted to be a director, she reasoned to herself.

Unfortunately, on the set of her hard-fought directorial debut (and more than a little angry that Angeline had chosen to star in another movie), she caved in to the charming wiles of a supermodel whom she had cast as an extra. They were caught red-handed by Angeline's sister, Alexis, who had decided to go by the set for a visit. Faced with the prospect of Angeline finding out from her sister, Lane came clean. The very next day, a tearful Angeline packed up and left. Unable to accept that she had been made a fool again. Lane understood why and watched as the other half of her life walked out. By the end of that week, Lane too had left, the house had become too painful a reminder for her to stay.

That was more than three years ago and in that time, Lane had firmly established herself in her new chosen career of directing and producing. She rarely gave any more interviews, and the few interviews that she granted were all about her movies and never about her personal life. Angeline too, had excelled in her field, winning acting accolades galore. News about her personal life though, were more forthcoming and her breakup with Jennifer Wright, a tall, long dark-haired golf player was openly her sixth in three years. The press were more fixated with the fact that all of Angeline's girlfriends so far have been tall with long dark hair and most had blue eyes as well. Exactly the description of one almost reclusive former singer, now big-shot director. It was no wonder the press were eager for any sort of statement from Lane.

"Lane, do you want me to release a statement to the press?" the question drifted into Lane's unconscious thoughts and she finally acknowledged her press agent.

"No, no. There's no need for me to make any statements." She told her perpetually unfazed long-time press agent, Sharon, who would not have had the best of time for the last four years, having to be essentially Lane's sole link to the mainstream press.

The two agents and their prized client since the very start of her singing days were having lunch in Lane's massive private office. Lane hardly ever went anywhere else besides her new production office and her new mansion. Especially now since studio executives would now come to her instead of her going to them begging for them to invest in her movies.

"Lane… I just got news that Angeline will be attending the benefit next month. The one where you've already promised to attend? You want me to cancel?" Jess, her agent wanted to be sure.

The director frowned. Ever since their break up, Lane had avoided seeing Angeline anywhere, going so far as to decline invitations to any awards ceremonies that Angeline would be attending, like the Oscars, etc. Even that year when she was nominated because she didn't think she could bear to see the love of her life in the arms of another woman. And besides, she was still too ashamed of her actions to be able to see Angeline face-to-face. Sighing deeply she said, "No, I can't cancel that. I gave Bron my word that I would make it." Pausing for a moment, she continued, "Besides, it's been almost four years… well, it would be four by the time the benefit rolls along, I'm sure… it'd be okay."

The two agents said nothing as Jess noted that onto her PDA. "I'll make sure the two of you are seated in different tables, though knowing Bron, she might want to put the two of you together…"

Lane shook her head slightly, "I know you guys still think Angeline and I would get back together eventually, but…" Bron was another old friend from her singing days.

"You never fought to win her back, Lane…" Sharon's tone held a slight chiding tone as always when on the topic.

Lane lifted one hand to stop Sharon's predictable tirade, "I've heard it all before Shaz. I cheated. She left. End of story."

"Is it? Tell me you don't miss her… no, tell me you don't love her anymore and I'll lay off this topic." The press agent was relentless.

"I… I can't…" Lane whispered back, "Everytime I close my eyes, I see her face. Everytime I cry, I see her smile. And that will never change. But it also doesn't change the fact that I screwed up."

Jess spoke up, "Then seek her forgiveness. Don't run away or avoid her any more. You may find out that she still cares a lot about you."

"Why would she? And how would you know?" Lane never dared to entertain such thoughts.

"Because everytime I attend one of the many functions you avoid, she would ask me about you. And everytime I tell her that you weren't going to show, I swear her eyes would look so down and dejected." The agent explained.

"Yeah," Sharon had made her way to Lane's side, placing one hand on the broad shoulder, "same for me. Everytime I bump into Angeline in some fancy restaurant or function, she would ask me about you as well. So, please, make use of the benefit and just talk to her. Ask her for her forgiveness."

Lane lapsed into a thoughtful silence.

The day of the benefit drew near. Lane was being shown several suits that the various designing houses wanted her to wear. But she was more interested in what was on the huge, flat-screen TV in her office with one of the daily afternoon talkshows. What interested her was the fact that Angeline was going to be interviewed regarding her latest film today. Though she avoided Angeline in all face-to-face encounters, Lane could never stop watching her angel charm all the hosts that had her on their shows. Be it late night or daytime, or even the radio.

Her attention being increasingly distracted as Angeline's appearance neared, Ailie discretely shooed the representatives from the designers out of the office before quietly closing the door behind her, leaving her boss to watch the interview in peace.

The interview began with the usual, run-of-the-mill, ie boring, questions for the first five minutes before the host asked Angeline (who looked as lovely as ever) this, "Your former lover, Lane Lawson will be casting for her next movie shortly, rumours are that you are on top of the studios list for the staring role in it. How do you feel about that?"

For the first time Angeline looked slightly flustered but recovered very quickly. She chuckled, "I remember a time when the studios had control over Lane's movies but they don't have any say in that now. So, it wouldn't be up to the studios to tell Lane what to do… and 'sides, I think she's done very well on her own, making her own decisions, hasn't she?"

"Yes, yes she has. But what a dream combination that would be!"

Angeline shrugged slightly, "I don't think we'd ever know…" her tone was so low that Lane had to strain her ears to listen to her reply. There was a short uncomfortable silence as Angeline's reluctance to answer any more similar questions shone through and the host tried to adapt as quickly as he could.

"So, what happened between you and Jennifer Wright?"

"She isn't who my heart misses." Angeline answered simply, "There's only one my heart needs and longs for… Jennifer Wright isn't the one." At the last sentence, Angeline looked straight into the camera, seemingly right into her former lover's heart. Lane swallowed hard and tuned out of the show where the host was busy thanking Angeline for her appearance.

Lane stood up and paced to the large window that made up almost one entire wall of her office. She stared at the general direction where she thought the talkshow was being filmed. Silence reigned for long moments before she took her mobile phone out and dialed a number from memory.

"Bron, it's Lane. How would you like a surprise segment for your benefit?"

It was the night of the benefit. Lane was restless, no one knew of what she had planned, except for Bron. She had not even told her agents or her producers, all of whom were her close friends as well as accompanying her to the benefit. She had asked Ailie to pick her an outfit from what the designing houses had sent over for her and Ailie's choice was a very smart, gunmetal gray, double-breasted suit.

"Lane? The limo's waiting outside…" Cath was the one elected to get Lane. The director nodded absently, straightening her already neatly pressed suit, Lane took a deep breath and readied herself for what was to her an abyss.

The limo ride was a blur. So was the obligatory red carpet outside the huge tent where the benefit was to be held. Lane smiled automatically and shook whosever hands that were shoved infront of her to shake. She avoided the microphones as was now her custom, leaving them for Sharon and Jess to deal with.

Her insides were shaking as she entered the tent, almost immediately spotting her ex-lover standing in the middle of several of her acting peers, laughing and sipping on a wine glass.

"Why don't you go over there?" Sharon urged her friend whose eyes held a most tender and longing look. To stress her point, the press agent gently nudged Lane closer to Angeline, all the while willing that the blonde actress would look up.

Lane resisted the urge. She had a plan and she was going to follow it. She shook her head violently, "No." she said, rather harshly, "Shaz, don't."

The press agent lifted both her hands in the air, rolling her eyes at the same time while Lane escaped into the opposite direction where Angeline and her present company was in. Sharon looked at Jess, Cath and Charlotte who had come together with Lane in resignation. All she got were identical shrugs. Sighing, she turned to glance at Angeline and found herself caught by the eyes of her other close friend. Green eyes that showed deep regret and sadness. I'll talk to her, Sharon mouthed to the actress. Angeline nodded once before concentrating back on the conversations going on around her.

Lane and Angeline were seated in different tables for the dinner, much to the disappointment of the four 'conspirators' and Angeline's manager, Justin, who thought he had confirmed with Bron that she was going to seat the two of them together. The five of them threw constant glances at one another, each trying to subtly maneuver their friends towards one another. But it was in vain for both Lane and Angeline seemed to have an innate sense of where the other is and would be as far away as is physically possible. Other than the near encounter at the entrance, it was proving to be impossible to get them close to one another.

Dinner started, it was to be followed by a several 'live' performances by various singers, all eager to lend their voices to this worthy cause. Lane could barely taste her meal, her eyes, almost on their own accord, constantly looking over at Angeline's table. But everytime Angeline seemed to acknowledge Lane's gaze and glance towards her, Lane would quickly look away nervously.

Until, just as dessert was being served, Lane suddenly felt a once familiar presence shortly before a hand rested gently on her shoulder. "Hi Lane." Her angel's voice was like food to a starving person.

The director hurriedly rose from her seat, not noticing that in her nervous haste she dropped her fork on the floor. "Angel… Angeline…" her eyes dropped to stare at the floor.

Gentle hands lifted her chin towards the owner's face, "Been a while… got a feeling that you were avoiding me…" Long fingers trailed down a cheek.

"No… well, not... not completely…" Lane could feel herself moving her face towards a touch she had craved and deprived herself for so long.

Angeline moved closer, to whisper into Lane's ears, "How can I forgive when I haven't been asked?" Hands dropping, she turned and walked back to her table.

Lane turned back towards her dinner companions who were all trying their best to seem like they haven't been staring. She sighed deeply and ran her fingers thru her long raven locks, that action had always seemed to calm her. Making an internal decision, Lane looked at her friends, "Excuse me…" before heading towards the backstage in a very brisk walk. Leaving everyone else on her table with their mouths slightly open and completely bewildered.

"Wha…?" Sharon was the only one who managed any kind of response. But before anyone else could say anymore, the lights dimmed, signaling the start of the performances of the evening.

Bron's voice came through the strategically placed speakers, "Welcome one and all to tonight's benefit. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and I hope you will enjoy this next part of the night. And I have to say this will be a night none of you will forget in a hurry. Because, we have a surprise performance tonight! Ladies and gentlemen, she stunned the world when she announced her retirement four years ago only to become the world's number one director."

Sharon, Jess, Cath and Charlotte's collective jaws dropped. A quick glance over to Angeline also showed the surprise written all over the actress' face.

"So, for ONE night only. ONE performance, ONE song… ladies and gentlemen, Lane Lawson!"

The applause and cheering that greeted the raising curtains was deafening to say the least. Lane could not remember any other times where she was more nervous than she was now. She waited for the cheers to die down a little before signaling to her makeshift band to start the opening of her song.

"Lately, I'm not who I used to be… Someone's come and taken me where I don't wanna go… If I knew exactly what I have to do, in order to be there for you when you were feeling low…"

Lane kept her blue eyes only on Angeline's green ones, never wavering and slowly blocking everything and everyone else in the huge tent out.

"And all the things we ever wanted, were once yours and mine… Now, I know we can revive it, all the love we left…"

Lane couldn't believe her ears the first time she heard the song over the radio, it seemed to describe everything she wanted to say to her angel, especially the chorus,

"Everytime I kiss, I feel your lips… And everytime I cry, I see your smile… And everytime I close my eyes, I realize that everytime I hold your hand in mine, the sweetest thing my heart could ever find… And I have never felt this way… Since the day I gave your love away…"

Lane could see Angeline starting to tear up,

"Save me, I've fallen from my destiny… You and I were meant to be, I've thrown it all away… Now you're gone, it's time for me to carry on… But baby, I just can't go on without you by my side…"

That was so true that it half-scared Lane when she first realized it. She really couldn't and didn't want to go on without Angeline by her side. She could only hope that her angel felt the same way still.

"And all the things we ever wanted, were once yours and mine… Now, I know we can revive it, all the love we left… Everytime I kiss, I feel your lips… And everytime I cry, I see your smile… And everytime I close my eyes, I realize that everytime I hold your hand in mine, the sweetest thing my heart could ever find… And I have never felt this way… Since the day I gave your love away…"

She had accepted Angeline's decision to leave, never once thinking that perhaps Angeline just wanted some time alone, to think. So she never looked Angeline up, to grovel or even to ask for forgiveness. She now regretted that. Now she wanted a second chance.

"We can survive it… All the pain we feel inside… You relied on me and now I've let you down… Now, I promise you forever, I will be the best I can… Now, I know we can revive it, all the love we left…"

Lane had made her way towards the front of the stage, as close as she could to Angeline's table. And as she was singing the chorus for the final time, she knelt down. Almost right in front of the actress.

"Everytime I kiss, I feel your lips… And everytime I cry, I see your smile… And everytime I close my eyes, I realize that everytime I hold your hand in mine, the sweetest thing my heart could ever find… And I have never felt this way… Since the day I gave your love away…"

"Forgive me, my angel." Lane looked straight into Angeline's eyes.

Fade out:

Author's note: Now… don't shoot off any emails demanding more. There will be more. Please keep an eye out for the companion piece to this story, tentatively titled "Fool Again", which will be Angeline's story as much as this was Lane's. Please let me know what you think! xarchangel@hotmail.com

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