(1938-10-27) A Shoulder To Cry On
Details for A Shoulder To Cry On
Summary: After months in American shooting a movie, Audrey Taylor returns to find her world falling apart, and comes to Wolfgang for moral support.
Date: 27 October, 1938
Location: The Natrix Dance Hall and Wolfgang's Flat

The hour is late. Or rather, quite early in the morning. The last of the guests have long since departed the Natrix, and the evening crew is busily cleaning up after yet another long night of music, dancing, drinking, and general merriment. To any regular of the club, the occasional voice, squeak of shoes, or clank of a mop bucket amidst echoing silence would seem utterly alien in this place.

That silence is broken by a sudden, insistent pounding on the doors of the main entrance.

The biggest of Wolf's lugs, dear sweet, Tony, bless his heart, swings open the door with his best neanderthal scowl. "WHA-Oh! Hey BOSS!" Not too distant away comes an annoyed Boss Voice just a few feet away behind the door really, "I am right here Tony, what?" Wolfgang is looking through the guest book with a cigarette and short glass of his Italian Liquor. He looks up as Tony leads the visitor in all suddenly dapper and by the hand like she was a princess. "Look who I found!"

The princess's hands are occupied with a pair of suitcases, but Audrey allows Tony to guide her in by the wrist. She is wrapped in her favourite mink coat, looking a bit sad and damp from the rain. A wide-brimmed black hat sits at a stylishly crooked angle on her head. She would seem every bit the shining starlet she is known to be, save for the smudged streaks of black where her tears have ruined her makeup.

Wolfgang goes from beaming grin and a hurry to her to embrace her to a more slow paced extending his arms for her to come to him. "Dollface, why the long look?" A flick of his hand and Tony is nabbing up the suitcases to take them up to Wolfgang's suite upstairs. "It's alright." He says softly as he wraps her up in her arms pulling off her hat so it doesn't flop in his face and get him wet as he wraps her up in his supportive embrace.

The show of sympathy and support is just the extra crack needed to break Audrey's dam, and release the flood of tears again. She clings to Wolfgang's jacket, sobbing against his chest, her head tucked under his chin. "I…I ru-…ruined…ev…erey…thing!" That is about all she can manage to verbalize before it becomes incoherent.

Wolfgang cups the back of her head and holds her around the waist, really just keeping her up on her feet while she sobs. When she goes incoherent he tips his head and that bit of body language he and his crew have down signals Tony and he nods leading the way to block the sight of Wolfgang scooping up his star into his arms, up like a princess. He uses his jaw and chin to tuck her face down and away and with the help of Tony gets the distraught woman towards the suite without the non-famiglia witnessing the bit of drama. That's Wolf, always with a mind for keeping his star shining bright in people's eyes. Well knowing what scandal or the wrong sort of attention could do to a career. Cradled up in his arms he whisks her away to privacy.

Audrey wanted nothing more in that moment than exactly that; to be held close and borne away from her problems by a trusted soul. All the way up the stairs, she whimpers into him, arms gripping firmly around his neck. Over and over, she repeated, "I'm s-so…stupid…so stupid…"

Flat Above The Natrix, London

Behind a hidden panel and up a flight of stairs from the Natrix's office, this swanky penthouse apartment is decorated with the same art deco sensibility as the room below, but far more lavishly. The stairs top out in the center of a wide circular room. The inner half of the circle covered in plush green carpet, the outer half in black and white marble tiles. A variety of eclectic modern statues on pedestals ring the room, along with silver-framed mirrors and modern paintings. In nearly every room there is a piano of some sort. A standing piano is the smaller rooms and a beautiful black grand piano with sexy curves and art deco designs on the legs and on the lid. On the carpet opposite the stairs is a seating area with several low-slung white Italian leather couches and armless chairs surrounding a circular mahogany table.

The curving walls are translucent glass, and through its milky-white surface the outline of the rooms beyond can be seen: a kitchen and bar with another small seating area, a smoking parlor with a billiards table, a large bathroom with a jacuzzi, and a bedroom dominated by a tall king-sized four-poster with a silver and rosewood frame. One five-meter segment of the glass wall is one-way transparent glass, offering a view of the night club's surroundings that opens on to a discreet balcony.

Wolfgang kisses her forehead and then the tip of her nose and then when he sits down with her on the couch with her in his lap he softly kisses her lips. "Shhh. Rest now, Wolfy's got you. Everything is going to be alright now. Rest and relax doll, then when you're feeling better you can tell me all about it. But no more of this stupid talk. I won't let you tell lies." He touches the tip of her nose with the tip of his fingertip and gives her that 'Boss says so' expression.

Audrey's sobs slowly diminish into little choking whimpers. Her hair was only loosely piled together under the hat, and is now coming down in a curly strands around her face. "It's true," she sniffles. "I'm an idiot. Every time I f-find something good in my life, and do something stupid to mess it all up." She slowly lifts her gaze through miserable, clumped eyelashes. "I've…lost her, Wolfy."

Wolfgang tugs the handkerchief from his zoot suit pocket and gently, carefully starts to dab her eyes and clean her up. "Stop. I want you to stop right now for a little while and take at least ten, really deep lung filling breaths, nice and slow. Then we can talk about what happened with Ranjali. Just the facts."

Audrey nods obediently, taking in long, gasping breaths, trying to get her breathing under control. Like a helpless child in his arms, she submits to his tender care, lip trembling with each new breath. "It w-was…the movie." She swallows hard, shrinking into herself and mumbling, "I could really use a drink."

Wolfgang doesn't have to move far at all, a bit of magic and the fact that there's never a decanter of hooch very far in his suite he soon is pouring her a drink without even unwrapping his arms from her. "Life in the spotlight is often hard for a partner." His voice remains calm and soothing as he holds up the glass for her to take. "But you should never let anyone keep you from your dreams Star. You are on your way to the heavens where people can look up at you for ages to come and be as amazed at your talent as I am. It's not your fault, nor is it Ranjalis. You are just on very different paths. Just because something doesn't last forever doesn't mean it's ruined."

"It does when I ruined it." Audrey takes the handkerchief, dabbing at her eyes. "I knew better. Of course I knew better. Bruce Durant is a womanizing knave. I could smell it on him from the moment I met him. But did I push him away? Oh, no. Not Audrey Taylor, professional idiot. I had to flirt, and tease, and act like it was backstage at the old playhouse again. Meanwhile, Ranji…my Ranji is half a world away, no doubt imagining the most awful things." Her face tightens as she fights back another gush of tears.

Wolfgang takes his own full slow and deep breath. "Ah, Star…" Granted he's jealous too. If she was going to cheat on anyone with Ranjali it should have been him! But he just pulls her in and kisses the top of her head. "You can stay here long as you need. Everyone makes mistakes." His voice rings of the knowledge that he knows ever letting her go in the first place was a mistake. "We'll make it turn out for the best, you and me Star. But right now, this is your night to just cry it all out. You even get a pass for soiling my favorite suit." He smirks down at her and gives her chin a gentle little 'chuck' with his knuckles.

Audrey gathers an inkling of what's going through Wolfgang's mind, and gives him a pouty glare, right through the playful chuck to her chin. "I didn't sleep with him," she says firmly. "I just…let it go too far. The kissing scenes got too…intense. Somebody took pictures on the set and…then Ranjali got them in the mail, along with a reel of footage." Sniff. "I'd bought a projector so I could send Ranji footage. I thought it would make it easier on her to be able to see me and what I was doing in Los Angeles."

Wolfgang pets her cheek and does his best to salvage her hair in tender strokes. "I stand by what I said. Ranjali is a great wonderful woman, I wouldn't have given you up if I didn't think so. But you and I both know she's possessive and on the jealous side of you. That mixture never works well when coupled with being in a relationship with an actress. Intense is good on screen. It's what's going to make you the next and better than Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow… Baby, Doll, Sweetheart nothing is guaranteed. You just have to take what you're given and be happy for it. You had a wonderful bit of time with Ranjali, she made you a greater person. But maybe it just wasn't meant to be. But now you got a life experience to draw from when you're on stage and in front of those cameras. I know it hurts, but even the pain is going to make you even better at getting those dreams to come true."

Audrey leans her head upon Wolfgang's shoulder, shaking with barely-suppressed sobs. "She loved me, Wolfy…and I love her. I never thought it possible. But…she showed me so many amazing things. I feel like there's this hole in my heart." She curls up in his lap, fingers again curling around the lapel of his jacket for comfort.

Wolfgang sets aside her drink again and he holds her there, nice and close. Resting his forehead down on the top of her head he softly begins to sing an Italian lullaby as he rocks her subtly in his arms. Nuzzling her hair and just like he would with his mother when she was having a bad patch. He holds the only other woman he could say he has loved in his arms and does his best to sooth her, as he soothes his mother, with his voice, with music.

Audrey's quiet crying is thankfully covered by the dulcet sounds of Wolfgang's voice, muffles as they are by his jacket. Exhausted from hours of fighting with Ranjali, and dismayed at what she has lost, eventually her tears give way to blessed sleep in his arms.

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