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Author's Note: This one's for all the readers who told me how much they liked my series. This means so much to me, guys, and this one's for you. Keep the feedback coming!
(Last time, in Picture Postcards from L. A.-Joey goes to L. A. with Scott. Scott kisses Joey, and a picture of them kissing ends up on a tabloid cover. Dawson sees the picture, and gets extremely upset. Joey gets upset with herself for kissing Scott back. She comes up with a secret plan to win Dawson back. Cliff's old girlfriend, Valerie, comes back, and makes it her personal mission to take Cliff from Jen. Pacey receives a letter from Kathleen, telling him that Old Man Ethan is sending her to a boarding school. Pacey decides it's time to pay a visit to Ethan.)
"Where do we go from here?
This isn't where we intended to be.
We had it all, you believed in me.
I believed in you.
What do we do, for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive,
As we used to do?
Deep in my heart I'm concealing,
Things that I'm longing to say.
Scared to confess what I'm feeling,
Frightened you'll slip away.
You must love me.
You must love me.
Why are you at my side?
How can I be any use to you now?
Give me a chance and I'll let you see how
Nothing has changed.
Deep in my heart I'm concealing,
Things that I'm longing to say,
Scared to confess what I'm feeling.
Frightened you'll slip away.
You must love me.
You must love me."
-"You Must Love Me" from Evita
Dawson pressed stop on his VCR. Damn Madonna. What did she know about feeling like she lost someone?
Dawson ran his fingers through his hair. All that movie had done was bring back thoughts of Joey. Especially "You Must Love Me." Dawson had felt like that. He had wondered why a beautiful, smart, sweet, charming supermodel would have stuck by a naïve film obsessive. Now he knew. She wouldn't, or at least she didn't.
Dawson didn't really care what Joey's reasons were. She was lonely, Scott was there, they kissed, whatever the reason, Dawson didn't want to know. All he wanted right now was to get Joey out of his mind.
Old Man Ethan led Pacey into the study. "I don't know why I'm letting you in," Old Man Ethan said, "what, with all the trouble you've already given me. But I figure if I don't let you talk, you'll never let up, so make this quick."
Pacey breathed a deep breath. "I'm in love with Kathleen. I know you either don't believe me, or hate me for it, but I love her. I don't love her for her money or her looks. I love her for who she is."
Ethan frowned. "My Kathleen is too good for you. What are you? You're the town joke. You think I don't know about you, just because I don't go into town? Oh no, I'm up with all the gossip. I heard about you and that teacher. Do you know what I think about you? I think you are a teenage boy, controlled by hormones, looking for a girl to amuse yourself with. Well you won't get Kathleen."
"Whatever my past," Pacey said, "things are different with Kathleen. I could never use her for sex. She's too...pure. Too beautiful. She's like an orchid. I'm afraid if I touch her that she will wilt and that inner beauty I love about her will die."
Ethan leaned back in his chair thoughtfully. "You've given me a lot to think about. But how can I be sure your intentions are…honorable?"
Pacey sighed. "Have you ever been in love, sir? Have you ever known what it's like to want to die for someone? Do you know what it's like to feel like you'll die if they're taken away from you?"
That hit Ethan…hard. When Pacey said that, Ethan seemed to age another ten years. "Yes I do," he said, "That's how I felt about Eleanor. She was the most beautiful creature on earth. She had long blond hair, blue eyes. She was from a wealthy family, I was a fisherman's son. Her father told me that I could never marry her. He said only a rich man would marry his daughter. So I worked and I worked and I built up my fortune. I went back to him and showed him what I did and he said it was impressive, but that his daughter was going to marry someone else. I was crushed. I went to her and asked her and she cried and said it was true. I asked her if she loved him and she said love had nothing to do with who you married. I told her that love had everything to do with it. I told her that I loved her. She sat there in silence. She said 'No, you don't. you don't love someone like me.' I knew I had to prove it to her. So I built those ruins for her. She loved Greece, so that's how I designed them. I based it on the palace grounds where Helen of Troy lived. Eleanor was my Helen of Troy. When I showed it to her, she was speechless. All she could do was kiss me and that's what she did. Six months later we were married."
Pacey sat there, watching Ethan's face. Ethan was crying while he was talking.
Ethan looked at Pacey and nodded. "All right," he said, "I won't send Kathleen to a boarding school. And I'll even let you see her. But," he added in a deadly tone, "if you ever hurt her, I swear to God that you'll be sorry."
"Thank you sir," Pacey said, "and you won't regret it. I'll treat Kathleen like a princess. No one will ever hurt her as long as I'm around."
When Pacey left, Ethan said to himself, "I certainly hope you're right."
Jen was walking through the school halls when Valerie walked up to her. "You're Jen right?" Valerie said, "Hi, I'm Valerie. Cliff's told me a lot about you."
Jen smiled, thankful that this girl seemed nice. "Yeah, I'm Jen. It's nice to meet you Valerie. Cliff's told me a lot about you too."
"Yeah" Valerie said, "me and Cliff go way back. Listen, I just want you to know that no, I'm not going to try to steal Cliff from you. I'm more mature than that."
"That's…reassuring," Jen said, surprised that the girl had been this blunt.
"Yeah," Valerie said, "Anyways, I was wondering. Do you know some guy named Dawson Leery? I've seen him around school and I was wondering about him."
"Dawson?" Jen asked, surprised, "yeah, me and him are neighbors. He's a nice guy. A little on the obsessive side, at least with movies and Spielberg."
"Really?" Valerie said, "because I'm kind of getting back into the swing of things, and someone told me that he was a guy I needed to meet. What else can you tell me about him?"
"Well, he's idealistic," Jen said, "a total dreamer. He films his own movies and dreams of being a director some day. He's absolutely in love with E.T. He even has an E.T. doll. He's always there for his friends. He can be a little oblivious and clueless sometimes. His life is sort of a fairytale sometimes, and he tends to get upset if things don't work out to his design. But all in all he's a great guy."
"That's nice to hear," Valerie said. Valerie was silent for a moment, then she asked, "so does he have a girlfriend?"
"Yeah, well, sort of," Jen said, uncomfortable, "her name is Joey Potter."
"Josephine Potter?!" Valerie said, visibly shocked, "the model? Josephine Potter, as in the Guess Jeans girl?"
"Yeah," Jen said, "You've heard of her?"
"Who hasn't?" Valerie said, "but wasn't she with that model guy, Scott?"
"Oh no," Jen said, "at least I don't think so. Joey and Dawson are head over heels for each other. Besides, you know those tabloids, always doctoring photos."
"Yeah," Valerie said quietly. She was silent for a moment, then she said, "Well, I have to go, tell Cliff I said hey. Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too," Jen said, wondering what changes this new girl would bring.
Dawson grabbed his mail from his box. As he was flipping through it, he heard someone call his name.
"Are you Dawson Leery?" asked a pretty girl he had seen around school.
"Yeah,' Dawson said, wondering who she was, "and you would be…?"
"Oh, sorry," she said, giggling, "I'm Valerie, call me Val. I just thought I should say hey. I'm a friend of Cliff and Jen's. They told em about you and I figured I should meet this guy who everyone speaks so highly of."
"Well, it's nice to meet you," Dawson said, smiling, "would you like to come in for a drink or something?"
"That would be great," Valerie said, grinning from ear to ear.
"You have a nice house," Valerie said, looking around Dawson's house.
"Thanks," Dawson said, pouring a glass of soda for her, "it's kind of messy, my dad's opening a restaurant, and he hasn't picked up his stuff."
"That's cool," Valerie said as Dawson handed her the soda, "anyways, I'm just going to be blunt here, because I'm not good with subtleties. Would you like to go out sometime?"
"Well," Dawson said, "I was kind of seeing this girl, but we just broke up, so I guess that would be ok. What did you have in mind?"
"Well," Valerie said, smiling, "I was thinking along the lines of a movie. I want to see 'Saving Private Ryan.' I'm a total Spielberg obsessive. I worship the man."
"Really?" Dawson said, surprised, "me too?"
"Wow!" Valerie said, smiling, "That's so cool, because my friends thought it was totally weird that I was so obsessed with E.T. I had the E.T. doll, but I misplaced it in the move."
"I've got the doll too!" Dawson said excitedly, "wow, I can't believe I've met a fellow Spielberg buff."
"I know, it's like karma," Valerie said, "I'm very into movies. I thought about being a director one day, but then I realized that I like working in front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I tried to get my friends to help me make our own home movies, but no one was interested."
"I make my own movies all of the time," Dawson said, "I entered one in the Boston Film Festival too. They're in the middle of judging, so I'm not expecting a reply anytime soon."
"Well, if you ever need an actress, call me" Valerie said, "Well, it's been great, but I have to go. Should I pick you up for the movies around seven?"
"Sounds great," Dawson said, "see you then."
When Valerie left, Dawson sank in his chair. It was so weird meeting a girl like that. She could be a female version of himself. Oh well, if he was going to ever get over Joey, Valerie was the best way.
"Everyone understand what they're supposed to do?" Joey asked, looking around at the roommates.
Scott nodded. "I've got it. Dan calls Dawson to tell him that an important filmmaker wants to meet him reguarding his entry into the Boston Film Festival. Amelia procures the plane tickets to L.A. and tells him to meet here. I cook the food, Katharine waitresses, and you have a romantic dinner with him, straight out of the movies."
"You've got it," Joey said happily, "thank you guys so much for this. I owe you big."
"No you don't," Amelia said, hugging Joey, "all that matters is that you're happy. Besides, an unhappy model is not a pretty sight. I've spent enough time around Naomi Campbell when she's on an ice queen kick to know that."
"What are we waiting for?" Dan said, rubbing his palms together, "let's get matchmaking!"
"I had a great time tonight," Valerie said, as Dawson walked her to her door, "I don't think I've been to a movie that intense in a long time. I'm glad I had someone with me who appreciates Spielberg's genius."
"It was great going with you," Dawson said, "Joey never would have cried at a movie like you did. It was refreshing."
Valerie frowned inwardly. Still talking about Joey. Damn. She would be a hard memory to erase, but it would be easier, seeing as Joey was thousands of miles away.
Hoping to get him to drop the subject of Joey, Valerie leaned forward to kiss Dawson, but he turned his head. "Sorry Val," he said, "I know I must be crazy, but I can't kiss you right now. I still need time to get over Joey."
"I understand," Valerie said, disappointed, "just remember that if you dwell on the past, you might miss the best thing to ever happen to you."
Valerie turned to go inside, hoping her words would strike home, when Dawson said, "Val?" Valerie turned around and before she knew it, Dawson's lips were on hers.
When they broke away, Valerie smiled and said, "Goodnight Dawson."
"Goodnight Val," Dawson said, watching her go inside.
When Valerie went inside, she went straight to her room and fell backwards on her bed. Everything was going as planned. Dawson was a good kisser, she could actually have a good time with him. Too bad he was only a ploy in her plan. Hopefully he wouldn't get hurt too badly.
Oh well, Valerie thought, there are always casualties in the war of love. Too bad Dawson would be one of them, but he would get over it. Hopefully Jen would be a casualty. Once Jen saw Valerie and Dawson together, if all went according to plan, she would get jealous, break up with Cliff, and Valerie would be there for Cliff to pick up the pieces. Then, when Cliff wanted to get back together with Valerie, Valerie would break it off with Dawson and Jen could get with him. Everyone wins.
Although there was always the Joey problem. If Joey knew what was good for her, she'd stay in L.A. with that little tart of a model, Scott. Then again, she couldn't count on it. If Joey came back too soon, Valerie might have to take her from Dawson.
Oh well, Valerie would come to that road when it appeared. For now, she needed to focus on getting Dawson to ask her out. The easiest way would be to play on his sense of romance. Hopefully she wouldn't have to suffer through those Spielberg films too long. And E.T.? Talk about eighties!
Smiling to herself, Valerie worked out the plan in her head. Things were going nicely. Very nicely indeed.
Dawson got back home in time to hear the phone ringing. "Hello?" he said into the phone.
"Hello," came a man's voice, "may I speak to Mr. Dawson Leery?"
"This is he," Dawson said, wondering who this was.
"This is the Boston Film Critics Society," the man said, "we would just like to inform you that one of the judges, a film director, has seen your movie, and would like to talk with you about it in L.A. this Saturday."
"What filmmaker?" Dawson said excitedly, wishing and praying that it began with an S.
"I'm not at liberty to say," the man said, "but your tickets will arrive tomorrow. Your plane leaves Friday. Someone will be at the Los Angeles airport to take you to the meeting place for a dinner. Thank you for your time."
"Thanks," Dawson said as the man hung up. A famous film director? Please, please, please let it be Spielberg. It wouldn't take away the pain of Joey, but it would dull it.
Joey. Joey was in L.A. Oh god, what if Dawson ran into her? Or worse, ran into her with Scott. Scott and her. Them. It was too much to handle. Sleep. That's what Dawson needed. Sleep. Sleep was good.
Dawson went to his room to get ready for bed. God only knew what tomorrow would bring.
To Be Continued In…
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