I’m here with the sexy, sophisticated and, may I say, very talented man about London town, Bennett Saville, the hero from my Starlight trilogy. Evening, Bennett, how are you?
Bennett (grins slightly at my intro): I’m fine, Sue. You can tone down the adjectives, though. I know you’re a writer and it’s in your nature but you’re making me blush.
Sue (spluttering with laughter): You’ve never blushed in your life, Bennett, so can the modesty. What’s on your mind?
Bennett (uncrosses his immaculately clad legs and leans forward): It’s a little strange for me talking about this. It’s the whole ghost thing going on in my theatre.
Sue (sighs): Bennett, we’ve talked about this-
Bennett (frowns): I know. But it doesn’t mean I have to bloody like it. Did you really have to do that? It’s driving me crazy and Julia isn’t too keen on them either.
Sue: It’s what the story does. I can’t change that now, any more than you could wear charity shop buys.
Bennett (raising an eyebrow in that sardonic way he has): I’ll let that comment about the charity shops pass. Have you ever tried performing on a stage with a bunch of – ‘entities’ -floating about you all the time? It’s very distracting. Not to mention bloody cold. My nether regions freeze every time one of them touches me.
Sue (gulps thinking about his nether regions): Isa and Granton are here to stay, Bennett. At least until the play is over and they’ve had their say.
Bennett: Cassie thinks it’s great, she says they need to put their issues to rest so they can be together. (Frowns) I wish they’d hurry up.
Sue: Cassie is a wise woman indeed. Talking of Cassie, how is she? Has her ex-husband been sorted out now?
Bennett: Yes. That blackmailing bastard is currently in a prison in Amsterdam awaiting trial for his part in some drug related debacle. Good riddance I say. He won’t be seeing the outside anytime soon. So – great change of subject, Sue. I see what you did there. Back to these ghosts.
Sue: Bennett, just wait it out. Honey, you only have another week to go then the play is over. I’ve got it on good authority that they’ll probably disappear when their story has been told.
Bennett (snorting): Is your resident expert Shelly, the woman who bought them here in the first place? God help me. That play she wrote just bought them out of the wood work. Look, don’t get me wrong. ‘Lonely Dove’ is a marvellous production. I’m just not fond of the extras lurking about. And the whole thing’s driving Dylan crazy too. He saw the ghost of his dead boyfriend in the dressing room, for God’s sake. I had to bring the man out of a very bad place and it wasn’t bloody funny.
Sue: I know Dylan saw Sammy. But afterwards he said it was a good feeling, that he now knew Sammy was okay. Haven’t you had the same experience? You felt Eric, didn’t you?
Bennett (leaning back, crossing his arms across his chest) : I did not see my dead brother.
Sue: I didn’t say ‘saw’. You felt his presence and you smelt his after shave when you got stuck in that room going to fetch Dylan’s birthday present. Shelly said she could see your aura change.
Bennett: Honestly? My aura changed? God, I am surrounded by superstitious women.
Sue: Stop being such a bitch. It doesn’t become you. Bennett, Shelly’s a psychic. She can sense these things. Why don’t you just admit that they exist in your theatre and just ride out the storm?
Bennett: I don’t believe in bloody ghosts. I like things I can see and touch. And spooky apparitions getting in my head when I’m performing just don’t do it for me.
Sue: You are such a prima donna, you know that? There’s nothing we can do it about now so let’s talk about something else. How are the wedding plans going? Have you made any yet?
Bennett (smiling softly): Cassie and I have been talking about it. It’ll probably take place in August next year. We haven’t decided exactly where yet. You know what Cassie’s like. She doesn’t like ostentatious and wants to keep it simple. Close friends, family and that’s about it. (shrugs) Whatever she wants is fine with me.
Sue: You’re really into this, aren’t you- getting married?
Bennett: Yes, I am. It’s about time I made an honest woman of her and I like the sound of her being Mrs. Saville. We’ve been through a lot together and this just seems right.
Sue: And on that note, my friend, I think we wrap this up. Now go back to the Val, do your show and try and show those ghosts a little love. They’ve been waiting centuries for it. And stop scowling, Bennett. It does nothing for that handsome face of yours. It makes you look a Capuchin monkey.
Bennett, stop that. You know I don’t like-being-bloody-tickled. (Giggles) Bennett, I swear to God I will wet myself. Bennett…!
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