Thursday afternoon, with only a little over twenty-four hours until he was supposed to be making the ‘announcement’ after Friday night’s show, Dean was a tense bundle of nerves. Every sound, every footstep he heard in the hall outside of the costume shop, had him jumping.
Finally one of his seamstresses came up to him, putting her hands on his shoulders as she said, “Go get some coffee, or better yet some tea. You’ve redrawn that sleeve three times and it hasn’t changed one iota, other than the hole you’ve made in the paper with your erasures.”
He looked at the sketch on his desk, realized she was correct and sighed. “I thought doing this would take my mind off of things, Ellie.”
“Apparently not,” she replied with a smile. “So get some tea and work off some energy pacing the hall, or something.”
With a nod, he crumpled up the sketch, tossed it into the waste basket and left the room. His hand went to his chest, touching the wire under his shirt, a movement he couldn’t resist despite Kirby’s warning not to. He just needed the sense of security he felt knowing it was there, even though he was aware it might be tomorrow before the men showed up—if they even did. "They’d better," he whispered as he headed towards the front of the building. The women in the business office made the best coffee of anyone here and right now he wanted some, strong and black.
He arrived there to find everyone on the phones. One woman looked up long enough to mouth ‘This is your fault’, but she was smiling so he wasn’t too worried. Heading over to the coffeepot he filled a mug with coffee then leaned back against the wall to drink some of it while he watched everyone trying to find available seats for customers for Friday night’s performance.
After a few minutes, feeling somewhat calmer, Dean topped off his coffee before he left to go back to the costume shop. He heard voices coming from around the corner of the hall and decided he wasn’t in the mood for people. Veering right, he walked into the auditorium. It was dark, the only illumination coming from exit lights and the trouble lights on the stage ahead of him. That would soon change as crew members started prepping for tonight’s show, but for the moment it was pleasantly empty and quiet.
Dean moved halfway down the center aisle and slid into a seat, kicking his feet up on the one in front of him, and sipped his coffee.