Lena knocks on the door of Ringo and Maureen's house, inside she hears talking and music playing. The door opens and Ringo rushes Lena in. "Lena, luv! How are you? May I take your coat?"
Lena smiles broadly and allows Ringo to remove her coat. "Thanks Ringo. I'm fine. Where's Maureen?" Ringo leads her through the kitchen where George, Pattie and Maureen are talking and smoking.
Maureen smiles and gives Lena a slight hug, "Hello, luv! I am so glad that you came! You look wonderful!" Lena smiles at Maureen as she whisks her away to give her a short tour of the house. As Maureen leads Lena into the living room, she spies Paul talking to a petite redhead.
Lena taps Maureen on the arm, "Maureen, who is that?" Maureen looks into the direction that Lena is pointing, "Oh, her. Surely you've heard of Jane Asher. Paul's been dating her forever. But recently she has been acting rather distant and seems to be stringing him along. Quite frankly I think he'd be better off getting rid of 'er. She just stopped by on her way to the airport. She'll be leaving soon. Quite a piece of work, that one."
Lena watches them for a moment, the way that they talk. Yes, Lena knew who Jane Asher is. She is an actress and serves as inspiration for many of Paul's songs.
Ringo brings Lena a drink and she quickly deposits herself on the couch. Suddenly, a man taps her on the shoulder and sings in an exaggerated manner, "I Fall to Pieces." Lena turns around and cannot help but laugh. John was trying his best Patsy Cline, and failing horribly. "Hey John. Did you get home at a decent hour last night?"
John stops crooning and slides into the empty part of the couch next to her, "I could ask the same to you, but I won't. That is unless you want to tell me."
Lena smirks at John and chuckles, "I think you already know. So what did he tell you?"
John looks at her and scratches his head, "Well, he said that you were nothing but an enormous tease and that you drive him completely mad."
Lena smiles in spite of herself, "Well, he hasn't even noticed that I'm here tonight." She gestures to Paul and Jane talking closely in the corner.
John follows her gaze, "Oh, that's nothin' but damage control. She's in and out of his life all the time. They fight all of the bloody time as well. It's not going to last much longer."
Lena looks thoughtful and can see herself taking John in as a confidant. "I need to talk to Paul though. I need to let him know that I have moved out of the hotel."
John looks at her, "Do you mean you're leaving so soon?"
Lena smiles and takes a sip of her gin and tonic, "No. Actually it's quite the opposite. I got a job and a room from this eccentric old woman down the street."
John looks rather curious, "How eccentric is she?"
Lena laughs, "Well, let's just say she reads tea leaves daily and says that they told her to take me in. She insists on calling me Anna."
John laughs and taps her on the arm, "Hey Lena. How about we cause a stir?"
Lena lifts an eyebrow and John lifts her to her feet. He offers her his arm and she takes it, having absolutely no clue what she was getting herself in to.
John leads her over to where Jane and Paul were talking. When they arrive John drapes his arm around her shoulders, "Hello Janie. It's lovely to see you. How's it going Paul?"
Jane smiles as Paul looks at Lena, but she is looking at John and sensing mischief brewing in his mind. John pushes his glasses back and tightens his grip on Lena, "Jane and Paul, I would like to introduce you to my mistress, Anna."
Lena, who is completely shocked, looks to Paul and sees his eyes widen with horror. John then spins Lena to face him and kisses her squarely on the mouth. John releases her and winks, "Do me a favor. Just don't tell Cyn!"
Jane looks like she just bit into a lemon, her mouth puckers in disgust and she looks at her watch, "I've got to go. I'll be late for my plane." She kisses Paul and whispers to him, "I'll call you." With that, Jane Asher floated out of the party and out of sight.
Paul looks to Lena, a hurt look in his eyes, "Why are you trying to humiliate me? Are you some sort of sadist?"
Lena opens her mouth to defend herself, but John beats her to the punch, "Take it easy, Paulie. Lena didn't know what was going to happen. I dragged her along to cause a bit of a stir, that's all."
Paul sneered bitterly at John, "Well, it worked. Are you happy?" Paul stalks off to the back porch. John shrugs and nudges Lena in the same direction.
She takes long strides and reaches the back porch rather quickly. She shivers when she hits the cold night air and spots Paul sitting on the stoop with his head in his hands. She sits next to him, and taps him apprehensively. "Hey, are you going to talk to me?"
Paul raises his head and meets her gaze, "There's nothing to say."
She scoots closer to him, "Why didn't you tell me about Jane?"
Paul shakes his head, "She's, she's interesting. I haven't seen her in weeks and then she just appears."
Lena nods solemnly, trying not to seem overbearing. "Paul, we need to talk about last night. I need to tell you that I in no way meant to hurt or embarrass you. I wasn't expecting any romance, just a friendship. But that is not what I found."
Paul takes Lena's hand and covers it with his own, "So Lena. Tell me, what did you find?"
Lena giggles slightly, "Well, I found that I have very strong feelings for a beautiful and brilliant man, and I found that if he was mad at me that I wouldn't be able to bear it." Paul smiles and kisses her hand. Lena turns serious and meets his eyes, "But I need to take it slow, Paul. I need you to be ready for my craziness, and there will be some. Plus, I'm scared. I'm scared to give myself when I know that I might not be here long enough to see it through."
Paul just sits there silently, holding her hand. He stands up and pulls her to her feet. He looks deeply into her eyes and laughs, "I haven't thought about anything but you the entire day. You drive me mad Lena. And if slow is what you need, fine. Just as long as you stay here with me." Lena wants it to be true, but the truth is much more painful. At any moment she could be yanked away from here and back to her reality.
She has determined that she will be with Paul while she is here, but she will keep looking for a way back home. The sooner the better because she can't allow herself to be in the way no matter how much she wishes to stay. Paul has wrapped her in his arms and her head is resting on his chest.
She pulls away to look at him, "Oh Paul, I wanted to tell you that I checked out of the hotel today."
Paul looks a bit concerned, "Where are you going to stay?" Lena smiles and shrugs, "You are looking at the new border and employee of Madame Cordelia Alexander St. Lorraine. She has a shop down the street and I walked in just to look around. She hired me on the spot and gave me a room. But not just any room. The most beautiful room you could imagine. She hired me because her tea leaves told her to."
Paul looked at her, obviously trying not to laugh, "Lena, if you wanted a job why didn't you ask me? I'm sure Brian could have found something for you to do."
Lena shakes her head, "Paul, I like adventure. And this woman is definitely one. She is so strange. Besides, just wait until you see the room."
Paul leans forward and kisses her gently on the lips, "That's fine, luv. Let's go join the party before we catch our deaths." Lena takes Paul's hand and they walk inside. They spend the rest of the evening chatting with John, George, Pattie, Ringo and Maureen until it is time to go.
Maureen kisses Lena's cheek and smiles, "It's so exciting, having you right down the street. I'll come visit you tomorrow. This Madame Cordelia sounds so interesting, I just have to meet her." Pattie steps up beside Maureen, "Count me in, too. I want her to read my tea leaves."
Lena kisses George and Ringo on the cheek, but when she reaches John, he is posed with his lips puckered and his eyes shut. Lena laughs at him, as perverse as he can be, "John, what are you doing?"
He opens his eyes and puts his hands on his hips, "What? I can't snog with me own mistress?"
Lena kisses him on the cheek, "Bye, John. Be safe." John smiles at her, "'Night, luv."
Lena walks down the sidewalk with Paul close at her side. When the house was out of sight, Paul hangs an arm around her waist, pulling her close. Lena smiles as the night air chaps her face and she is completely in awe of her own good fortune. This was the same girl who just days ago was working herself night and day at school and at the record store, aching to live her dreams. Here she was. Not only have her dreams been realized, they have been surpassed. She drives Paul McCartney mad, and he does the same to her.
They reach the store and stand outside for a minute. Paul looks upwards at the building, "Are we going to wake her?" Lena shrugs and dips into her purse for the key. Before she could unlock the door, it swings open to reveal Madame Cordelia in her elaborate light blue dressing gown. She's holding Jezebel at her bosom and a cigarette in an Audrey Hepburn-esque holder. "Anna, dear! I have worried about you! Come in before you freeze, luv!"
She takes Lena by the arm and ushers her inside, leaving Paul to follow behind her. Once inside, Madame Cordelia sits Lena at the tea table and pours her a cup. Madame Cordelia bustles about until she notices Paul's presence, "Well, hello there! You must be one of Anna's suitors!"
Paul hides his chuckle and says rather plainly, "Yes, one of them." He looks to Lena and smiles devilishly.
Madame Cordelia takes his coat and inspects him thoroughly, "Oh yes, he's a handsome one. He'll do nicely." Lena looks downward to her hands. Madame Cordelia means well, she just has that nosy, fuss-budget way about her.
Madame Cordelia pours the tea and looks curiously at Paul, "I'm sorry, but you look so familiar. What did you say your name was?"
Paul clears his throat, "Madame, how dreadful of me! I am Paul McCartney of Liverpool." Paul takes Madame Cordelia's bedecked hand with the long blue nails and gives it a kiss.
Madame blushes, "Oh, and a gentleman to boot!"
Lena takes a sip of tea and says, "You have no idea." Lena watches, very entertained as Paul submits to Madame's questions.
Paul has downed his first cup of tea and Madame pours him another, "So Mr. McCartney. What is your occupation?"
Paul straightens and says proudly, "Oh, I'm a musician. I write songs and sing and play various instruments."
Madame Cordelia looks skeptical at his answer, "And how do you plan to provide for this young beauty when you are both starving, and you are writing songs?"
Paul looks to Lena, who is quite amused, and shrugs. Madame offers, "Perhaps if you cut that hair and find a respectable job, like a tailor."
An image rushes through Lena's mind of Paul sewing together various articles of clothing and clasps her hand over her mouth to stop her laughter. She clears her throat and touches Madame's hand, "Madame Cordelia, he's wonderful at songwriting. He's going to be legendary some day. Why don't we go into the parlor so he can show you?"
Madame looks curious at this proposition, "Very well. Come along then." Madame Cordelia leads them into the parlor where an old piano sits. Paul takes position at the bench and looks to Lena confidently. He starts to play and the piano resonates wonderfully. Lena places her hand over her heart and bites her bottom lip, he was playing "Yesterday." He begins to sing and his voice fills the room. When he is finished, he turns to Madame, "So what do you think?"
She nods her head slightly, "It's not bad. Maybe you could get a job at a few pubs or write a few tunes for the telly."
Paul winks at her, "Maybe. Goodnight Madame." He strolls to the door and Lena follows him out.
She smiles at him, "Isn't she fascinating? Although I guess she doesn't get out much."
Paul pulls Lena to him, "Yeah, I enjoyed giving the old bird a pull. But to tell you the truth, I'd rather pull you."
She laughs and kisses his lips, "Goodnight Paul. Will I see you tomorrow?"
Paul nods and kisses
her again, "Mmm-Hmm. You can count on it." She steps
back into the store and watches as he walks away.
Written by Cinder Whittier. May not be reproduced in any form, by any means, without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.
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