Ice Glass Beads

Marilyn Opal. Even the name sounds beautiful. The mystery woman, they call her. But they don't know what goes on behind locked doors and fences, where secrets and betrayal are thick underfoot, and broken hearts and minds are many upon the battlefield of millions.
(this is definitely more adult than things I've done in the past, so I'd really like opinions on it)

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3. Passion façade

Lips slide across skin in lust, eyes flicker around the darkened room, backs arch in ecstasy. Dim lights illuminate shadows, the lily-white bed in the centre of the room the sole object of attention, and the two god-like creatures lain across it.

A small sigh escapes her mouth, quieter than a breath, but in the silent room it seems to grow and grow until it is as loud as a lion's roar, shaking the flimsy walls as if they are mere paper.

But then the two bodies are still once more, panting breaths emerging, smooth skin rising and falling to the beat of their hearts thumping as one.

"And...cut!"

The director's voice cuts harshly through the seemingly thick air, as the lights are brought up and shine upon the two actors, no longer lovers; merely strangers sitting in a room full of lights and people, watching as they play their roles.

She blinks, the bright lights blinding her for a brief moment, as her mind becomes her own once more, no longer the part of the desperate Russian woman, forced onto the streets by her brother, but finding solace within a kindred spirit.

A running girl quickly rushes over, once all the cameras have finished rolling, a bundle of her clothing clutched between the girl's trembling hands. She couldn't have been more than seventeen. Indifferently she takes them and begins dressing herself, ignoring the many embarrassed eyes that have fallen upon her. On the other side of the bed, the man does the same, their movements almost mirrored.

"That was marvellous, Marilyn, absolutely marvellous." One of the producers walks over to her, face like withered parchment smiling kindly down at her. "I could barely take my eyes off you." 

She smiled briefly, lips curled and eyes blank, then allowed her face to fall back into its deadpan expression. Her face seems like a mask now, a plain sheet, compared to the many films that he has seen her face light up in joy, like an angel from heaven, a smile that could bring the dead back to life and make birds sing. How she does it, he does not know.

"You must've got that talent from somewhere, you're so good." He paused. "Did your parents act?"

Another dig for information about her, anything, a tiny smidgen of information would do. Like all the others, he had to ask, had to try and find out. 

With a sharp click she puts her feet to the ground and stands up, walking sharply away from him. Tall heels do not affect her brisk walk, only adding to her sense of power over the room as she quickly departs. The door is opened for her by one of the lackeys, she nods and exits, glancing only briefly back at the man who had been her everything just a few minutes ago, and now was only slightly more than nothing to her. He nods at her, and she does the same. 

The rest of the studio is empty and gathering dust as she walks through it, only broken by a trail of footsteps and wheel tracks leading towards the room she just left. Quickly she marches through the deserted rooms.

Creaking slightly as her manicured fingernails push it open, the door reveals pouring rain. Yet still the media lie in wait, concealed beneath dark umbrellas but clutching their cameras and microphones and lights nonetheless. Quickly, the bombardment starts.

"Miss Opal, why are you never seen in public?"

"What are your thoughts on the upcoming film?"

"Marilyn, why did you start acting?"

"Where do you live?"

"Do you have any issues at home?"

"Marilyn Opal, who are you?"

A small grimace crosses her perfect features as she is forced to push through them, shoving people aside with barely a flick of her wrist. Still they come at her, like animals fighting over meat, so many people jostling to be near her that a drop of rain hasn't even fallen on her head yet, as they have shielded her so well. 

She closes her heavily made-up eyes briefly, still attempting to fight her way through the pressing crowd, almost crushing her. In the distance she can see the car, waiting and ready for her departure, though many hopefuls have gathered around that, hoping to catch a glimpse or steal an interview when she attempts to get in.

And then she is free, her head breaking through into cool and refreshing air. The car door is quickly opened by her driver, who also pushes aside many of the media so that she can get in. With great difficulty she slides into the seat, then wrenches the door shut behind her, so hard that many of the people sticking their microphones through the gap have to quickly whip their arms away, for fear of losing a hand.

There's a slam as the driver gets in, then quickly starts up the purring engine. Faces press at the windows as he turns the steering wheel and pulls out. She's thrown into her seat as he picks up speed and reaches the end of the road, making a sharp right turn then continuing onwards.

"Thank you," she says, finally allowing her mask to slip and emotion to break into her voice. Her handbag is placed on the seat beside her, and she briefly turns behind to check out the back window. "There might be a tail."

"On it, Miss," the driver replies, and increases the speed even further. Of course, he has a protocol for this. So many press have attempted to follow her to her home. Heading in completely the wrong direction, the driver makes a series of sharp and unexpected turns, often up one way streets and through busy cities, until any recognisable car is gone. 

That was why she hired him. He would do anything she said, but never speak to the press. He cared about her far too much for that.

After driving long through horizontal sheets of rain, and only the small pinpricks of the headlights on the long dark roads, the driver pulls up outside her house. To say that it was understated would be an overstatement. It was a semi-detached terrace house, with a broken window on the second floor, and ivy coating the red-brick wall, which was beginning to crumble. The navy front door was peeling and rubbish covered the front yard.

He asks the same question that he asks every night. "You sure you'll be okay?"

She replies with the same answer, every single night. "I'll be fine. Thank you." The door opens and shuts as she gets out.

The car pulls away as soon as both tar-black shoes are on the curb. Water drips down her neck as she walks towards the door, pulling her keys from the bag and slotting them in the door. It clicks as she twists, then creakily swings open, leading to a dank and dirty hallway.

As soon as the door shuts behind her, the entire façade drops. Her bag falls to the ground with a thump, her back slumps from its usually perfect posture, and her face seems to age a little, just as she stands there.

This is a part that the public have never seen her play, a person that no-one has ever been allowed to see, a being that is too dark to reveal, without greasy shadows sucking in anyone who strayed too close, like a black hole.

This is the real Marilyn Opal.

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