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Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

http://download.archiveofourown.org/works/6749224.

Rating: Not Rated


Archive Warning: Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Category: F/F
Fandom: Carol (2015), The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith, Philadelphia
Story (1940), Lady Eve (1941), Bringing Up Baby (1938), All About
Eve (1950)
Relationship: Cate Blanchett/Rooney Mara, Carol Aird/Therese Belivet
Character: Sarah Paulson, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle Chandler, John Magaro,
Jake Lacey, Todd Haynes, Phyllis Nagy, Abby Gerhard, Genevieve
Cantrell, Carol Aird, Therese Belivet
Additional Tags: screwball comedy, Comedy, Angst and Humor, Sexual Humor,
Inappropriate Humor, Shameless Smut, Gratuitous Smut, Birthday
Smut, Smut, Sexual Tension, Crossdressing, Movie Reference,
intertextuality, Mash-up, Romance, Love/Hate, One True Pairing,
True Love, Lesbian Sex, Inspired by Real Events, Fic Writer's
Perverted Wishful Thinking, Everyone Is Gay, did I mention smut?,
Eventual Happy Ending, Crazy Fuckers Everyone In This Really
Series: Part 1 of Anything But Love: The Whole Shebang
Stats: Published: 2016-05-04 Completed: 2016-09-18 Chapters: 18/18
Words: 41716

Anything But Love


by odeon

Summary

Filming of Carol (2015) nearly completed, Cate and Rooney feel inexplicably drawn to
each other... and hey, it's Rooney's birthday after all! It seems like "just one of those
things" until Todd Haynes gets the bright idea to bring the old gang back together and
make a crazy ass screwball comedy with a queer twist... madness and mayhem ahead!

Name of the fic comes from the old tune I Can't Give You Anything But Love, a song
prominently featured in the comedy Bringing Up Baby (1938).

Notes

Okay, I seem to need balance... that's why I can't do just one fic at a time. Everyone
always tells in these stories where real peeps are involved that these are merely fictitious
and fantasy. Well, this one is TRUE. All of it! (As far as my perverted imagination is
concerned, lol.) So no, I'm not gonna do this dance.

But I am curious to have your take on my mash-up of Carol, the otp and the various
screwball comedies I so very much adore.

My special thanks go to Sleepy_head who worked his magic re: where Cate and Rooney
appeared together to promote Carol. She also encouraged me to keep this "screwy" idea in
my head, so THANKS dear S - this one's for you, my friend <3

See the end of the work for more notes


Love Impulse

The love impulse in man very frequently reveals itself in terms of conflict. – Bringing Up Baby
(1938)

Cincinnati, USA, 17th April 2014

”Cate…” The voice was impatient more than anything else. “Yes, Rooney?” The blonde woman
twirled a half empty wineglass in her hand. She was visibly nervous, nearly upset. They’d filmed
the Waterloo love scene today, and it was Rooney’s birthday as well. It didn’t make things any
easier for the older woman, not one bit.

“What are we doing?” Rooney asked setting her drink on the table. Her voice was surprisingly
even, although she had had quite enough and she wasn’t exactly referring to the wine. “What do
you mean?” Biting her lower lip, Cate sank back in the comfy armchair. Rooney let out a
frustrated sigh. “Fine. Suppose I’ll go first then…”

She got up and walked over to her. Kneeling in front of her she held Cate’s gaze. “This shit’s not
gonna fly with me anymore… we both know today was the big day, and it still is my big day.”
Rooney made sure she had Cate’s full attention. “Yeah, you’re married, big deal. I mean it is…
but come on,” She took Cate’s hands by the wrists. “Let’s fuck already. We both want to. And it
is my birthday…” A sly smile lingered on her lips.

Stunned by her easy candor, Cate stared at Rooney as the brunette’s hands slid slowly along her
thighs. “I’m so done with this dillydallying…” Rooney murmured resting her head on Cate’s
knees, brushing them with her temples and the bridge of her nose – kissing the kneecaps gently
through the fine fabric of her black stockings. “C’mon, let me fuck you…”

Her eyes darkening, Cate grew agitated. She felt vulnerable. “Relax, Cate. You were the teacher
at Waterloo, I’ll be the one here tonight.“ She heard Cate’s breathing becoming hurried and
uneven. “Just tell me to stop and I will,” Rooney whispered softly parting the stockinged legs,
“but be quick about it… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it later on. You know, baby, you have
one mighty advantage riding on your side…” she added smiling. “What’s that?” Cate managed
painstakingly. “I already know how very beautiful you look without any clothes on”, she told her.

Home run, she thought when Cate’s hands grabbed her shoulders forcefully, magnificently. It
reminded her of the scene where Therese plays the piano at Carol’s house. This time her hands
didn’t just squeeze them in passing – they summoned her head to meet her groin. Now we’re
getting somewhere.

“I want our first private kiss to be special,” Cate panted, “and I need it down there…” Eyeing her
co-star triumphantly Rooney removed all the obstacles – dress, stockings, panties – standing in her
way of finding Cate perfectly aroused for her ravenous mouth. “You’re too much…” Rooney
gasped charmed by what she longed to taste. “I want you to come hard, and I want you to come in
my mouth,” she told her, “can you do that for me, Cate?” Her tone of voice made damn sure she
would at least deliver her side of the bargain. Unable to utter anything intelligible, the blonde
woman just nodded hastily.

For once Cate wasn’t acting, Rooney smiled relishing the moment. Cate was in for a big surprise
since there was nothing naïve or innocent about the way she pleasured her women. Nothing
Therese-like at all. Patricia Rooney Mara from Bedford, New York, would make sure Catherine
Élise Blanchett from Melbourne, Australia, would remember this evening for the rest of her life.

Cate sure did. The stars of Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015) finally consummated their on-screen affair
off-screen as well though it did happen in the nick of time, on the 17th of April, 2014. Cate
finished her part only a week later while Rooney stayed for yet another week of filming.

What Rooney didn’t quite understand was that the tryst between her and Cate wasn’t her average
on-set romance. Cate, for one, was hardly a typical on-set squeeze – she was either really quick to
learn or had previous experience, Rooney came to think later on. Yes, she might have high-fived
Sarah Paulson the next morning over breakfast grooving out her typical “I landed the plane,
woohoo!” jive but in the end it all came back to bite her in the ass. And not in the way she usually
preferred it either.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“May I have your attention, PLEASE!” Todd tried to get his overtly excited crew to calm down.
“I am just as psyched as you are,” he grinned unabashedly. “I can’t believe I’ve been given
another opportunity to work with you – YOU TALENTED PEOPLE!” he shouted out the last
part. “What an intriguing undertaking we have here…” he turned to face Phyllis, “What an
awesome script, once again, I couldn’t be happier.”

“And Cate – Cate, Cate, Cate, Cate… my heart is so full, thank you for joining forces with me
again!” Visibly moved, he pressed his hand on her chest. The center of his adoring attention, the
fabulous Australian actress Cate Blanchett was leaning against the wall a smug smile appearing
briefly on her lips. Looking like million bucks, she had her movie star shades on. Cate threw Todd
her most melodramatic screen kiss.

Last time she had spent a longer period of time with Todd had been during the Cannes Film
Festival two years earlier. However, it wasn’t because of him she remembered the occasion so
well…

Cannes, France, 18th May 2015

“Cate is very soft… she has a very smooth skin,” Rooney told the reporter asking about their love
scene, her answer sending shivers down Cate’s spine. Thank God Todd was sitting between them
since she wanted to jump her! And jump she did only a half an hour later. “I want that bloody top
off of you now!” Cate hissed chasing Rooney along the hotel corridor. “Oh you do, don’t you –
Cate “I did a chest wax for you, baby” Blanchett…?” Rooney had a nice lead. “You’ll have to
catch me first…”

Inside her suite Cate tackled Rooney on the lusciously thick carpet yanking her pants down and
shoving her hand forcefully underneath her bra. A sound of a ripping garment only excited them
more. “What did you just say to the media about the fifties’ clothing… restrictive and
uncomfortable, huh?” she exhaled hotly in Rooney’s ear. “I don’t know if you’ll find what I’m
about to do to you uncomfortable but honestly, I don’t give a shit, I will fuck you so hard you’ll
scream bloody murder before I'll let you come…” Cate’s teeth on her earlobe, her tongue soon
thrusting inside her mouth cavity, Rooney moaned loudly out of an unadulterated surrender.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“I trust you all know what you’ve signed yourself up for?” Todd asked around. “We’re doing a
movie called Anything But Love in the same vein as the 1940’s screwball comedies… you know,
the ones with the legends like Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry
Fonda…”

Smiling wider than ever, he shook his head in wondrous disbelief. “This time, folks, we even have
the money – the dough, the bread, the moolah, the cabbage, the dead presidents…” Amused,
Sarah raised her hand to stop him. “I think we got the picture, Todd, you and Christine and Cate
have done an impressive job getting the financing together but let’s get back to the main issue,
okay..?”

Carrie Brownstein was eager to agree. “Yeah, I’m hungry for details,” she quipped checking out
Sarah’s butt and not really minding if anyone noticed her doing so. Cate rolled her eyes. Horny
lesbians… thank God that part of her life was now over and done with, she sighed.

“Cate will play the part of the wacky socialite with a double identity who is on the verge of her
second marriage to this pompous upstart played by none other than the talented Mr. Kyle
Chandler…” Todd started a round of applause much appreciated by the handsome actor taking a
bow.

“Sarah and John Magaro will be the meddlesome journalists hungry for a scandalous scoop, and
Carrie here will portray a woman of somewhat loose virtue, so to speak.” Sarah beamed at Carrie
encouragingly while Cate let out a laugh. “It’s made to measure, darling, I’m sure you’ll thrive at
it!” she quipped her voice way too honeyed. Carrie glared back but let it slide. For now, she
fumed to herself.

“Since this is my film, there will be a queer twist, of course,” Todd continued wiggling his
eyebrows. “Yes, where is Jennifer? She should be here by now,” Cate fretted. Jennifer Lawrence
was supposed to play the part of the nerdy professor trying to secure funding for her dinosaur
exhibition at the natural history museum. She loved Jennifer. She was so talented – so much better
than any other actress of her age, Cate mused complacently.

New York, USA, October 2015

“Rooney is a huge talent… the choices she’s made in her career so far, the body of her work…”
The voice from the news video trailed off as they were busy making out, hungry to get rid of the
constraining clothes – jackets, shirts, jeans, panties piling up in adorable, messy mounts on the
floor of an anonymous hotel room – kissing rapturously, slowing down to drink in a look, a
glance, a silent shudder. "You're interested in my body... of work?" Rooney teased pressing her
mouth lustfully against Cate's lips.

“I found her incredibly generous but really mysterious…” Hearing Cate’s voice once again on the
video she touched her beautiful face, traced its evocative lines with her gentle finger. “Don’t.”
Cate averted her eyes for a second. “What’s wrong?” Rooney asked kissing her neck softly.
“Don’t remind me of my age.” She seemed embarrassed.

“Come on, Cate, age is just a number. You’ve said it yourself – you said it to Sarah when she
started dating Holland.” Rooney pushed herself on top of her, and the immaculate beauty of her
naked body made Cate sigh. “I’m sixteen years older than you, Roo, it’s no laughing matter…
well, for some people it would be if they knew.”

Cincinnati, USA, 20th April 2014

“So you two are finally screwing,” Sarah confronted Cate who couldn’t help but blush. “Good for
you – bad for me,” she laughed. “What do you mean bad for you?” Cate asked astonished. Had
she missed something? Was Sarah interested in Rooney – or in her? she wondered.

“My fucking room is next to your fucking rooms – pun obviously intended – that’s all.” Sarah’s
eyes flickered mischievously. “Every night when I hear you guys frolicking to have sex, I keep on
wishing ‘go to Cate’s room, please, go to Cate’s room’, that way there’d be at least two paper
thin walls between us…” she explained vividly. “But no, 3 times out of 4 you just have to have
your fuck fest in Rooney’s room.” Cate blushed, seriously. “I’m so sorry, Sarah…” Her friend
wasn’t really miffed about it, though.

“I just hope you know what you’re doing. She’s very young…” Sarah pointed out. “Funny you
should worry about the age gap,” Cate scoffed abruptly. “The difference is I’m not young myself
– I know what I want. Does Rooney? Do you – being a wife and a mother, if I recall correctly?”
Sarah was quick to clarify.

“Yeah, I guess I’m old enough to even be her mother…” Cate retorted sarcastically not wanting to
delve into her private life. “Make that a very sexy, slutty teenage mother!” Sarah chuckled. “Oh
please, why not sexy, slutty queen mother…” Cate winked playfully. No matter how witty they
ended up being about it, the conversation left a bitter aftertaste in Cate’s mouth.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“So where the fuck is J-Law?” Cate asked waiting for an explanation. Sarah had a startled look on
her face, and she thought better to direct her attention to Carrie once more. Phyllis was suddenly
very interested in her notes for the afternoon. Only Todd seemed happily unaware of anything
funny going on. “Oh, Cate – didn’t you get the memo?” he started genuinely surprised. “What
fucking memo?” Cate interjected. She didn’t like what she was hearing. “I sent it to your agent a
week ago… I wonder what happened?” Todd mused aloud. “Anyway, it’s nothing really, not a
deal breaker, in any way. I’d say we actually got lucky!” he chuckled happily.

“Is anyone going to tell me what the fuck has happened?” Cate addressed the room her voice
gathering storm. No one except Todd seemed willing to speak up. “Well, Jennifer had to
withdraw at the last minute, I’m afraid, so I got in touch with the person who really was my first
choice to begin with but since everyone kept telling me otherwise I had put her on hold…” Spit it
out already, Cate wanted to shout out. “So who is going to be my love interest in this bloody
film?” she thundered over the little people.

“That would be me, Miss Blanchett… long time, no see.” Miss Rooney Mara had appeared in the
doorway looking impeccable in a sleek, black tuxedo her dark, shiny hair combed tightly back.

New York, USA, 2 months before the start of the shoot

“Hello, Miss Blanchett,” greeted a voice behind Cate who was talking to the musical director of
the Geffen Hall. Turning around, she didn’t immediately recognize the woman who was looking
at her rather rudely. “It’s Kate, Kate Mara. We were introduced two years ago but I guess you
don’t remember me.” Cate did recall meeting Rooney’s sister. “Oh yes, I do remember you, Kate.
Good to see you again. How’s your… family?”

Kate looked at Cate trying to figure out what her sister had seen in this woman in the first place.
“Rooney’s fine, if that’s what you’re asking. No thanks to you, though. What you did to her was
shitty to say the least, but I guess it comes with the territory of being an über bitch.”
Holy Sappho!

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

Rooney strolled in oozing confidence. She took another look at Cate before turning her attention
to others in the room. Both Sarah and Carrie ran to welcome their friend. “I’m so happy to see
you, Roons!” Sarah beamed hugging the latest addition to the crew. “Damn, woman! You look
fine… what’s the gear for?” Carrie shouted out letting her sight linger on Rooney’s perfectly
tailored suit. “Oh, this little thingy… it’s something Todd asked me to wear,” she quipped her
dimples charming the hell out of every one present.

Well, nearly everyone for there was one person who was less than happy to witness the
unexpected turn of events. Cate was fuming with anger, she felt blindsided by the abrupt change
in plans. Although the mere idea of working with Rooney again was torturous to begin with she
knew she wouldn't be the first to back down. She had never shied away from a challenge, not
even when it had left her all tingly and confused...

Santa Barbara, USA, February 2014

“Cate, I’d like you to meet your next co-star, Miss Rooney Mara.” Their eyes met. She’s so
intense, Cate thought unable to avert her eyes from the striking young woman standing in front of
her. You’re magnificent, occurred to Rooney and for a moment she was sure she had uttered the
words out loud. Cate fucking Blanchett, the one and only wet dream of her adolescence, was right
there in flesh and she, Rooney, couldn’t but gawk at her openly.

“Nice to meet you,” Rooney mumbled self-consciously. The blonde woman shook her hand
briefly but her grip was electrifying all the same. “Likewise,” Cate replied her piercing eyes
measuring her up. “So we’ll be lovers soon?” she continued laughing at her own joke. You can
bet your ass we will, Rooney thought managing a half-smile that gave away nothing.

“It looks like it,” she replied, “thanks to Patricia Highsmith – and the efforts of you, Todd and
Phyllis.” Cate smiled at her secretively. “Let’s see what kind of an effort you will be able to pull
through,” she challenged, “I hope you won’t find it too much of a stretch to fall in love with me.”
The impenetrable expression on Rooney’s face was sphinxlike. “I’m sure I can think of something
to make it look real.”

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“The script pretty much calls me to be suited up in every scene,” Rooney explained her dapper
looks. More than pleased, Carrie wiggled her eyebrows. “Well, I’m certainly not complaining,
Roons, looking at you makes a girl all warm and fuzzy inside…” Biting her lip, Cate was
impatient to own the room once more. “So, Rooney, you’re actually going to be wearing clothes
in this picture?” To describe her voice as sarcastic was understatement at best.

“I don’t mind one way or the other. It’s not like I have to have my bare back at the camera at all
times…” Rooney stared at her unflinchingly. Sarah gasped not quite inaudibly while the rest of the
crew tried to figure out what the hell was happening in front of their very eyes.

Unfazed by her slight, Cate went for the jugular. “Maybe you should make a wholesome family
movie for a change? Little something for the Disney Channel like a 21st century remake of Tarzan
with you as the scantily clad heroine?” Her menacing smirk was a terrifying sight to behold.
“Working with an animal would do you good… so why don’t give Catherine Cheetah Jones a
call and find out if she’s available – it might once again have positive side effects on your
career…” Ouch, Cate heard Phyllis gasp while Rooney looked as if her co-star and one-time lover
had just dealt her an unexpected blow below waistline.

Todd tried to wrap his head around what had just happened. He had wanted Rooney to play the
second lead from the very beginning but the women in his production team had been
exceptionally adamant to get him to change his mind about it. “Ehm… it’s not necessarily a good
idea,” Christine had said early on, and Phyllis had been positively squirmy about the subject
altogether.

“Been there, done that,” she had quipped a bit too light-heartedly to be absolutely convincing.
When J-Law had expressed her interest, Todd had nevertheless been happy to oblige. Envisioning
some truly “lesbionic hunger games” between Cate and Jennifer had gotten him excited after all.

Still he couldn’t understand what was going on now. He’d been certain Cate would appreciate
him getting Rooney for the role at the last minute; their chemistry while filming Carol had been
insane. Even when Cate’s part in the film had finished, she had stayed on at the set to cheer
Rooney on, to offer her moral support.

Todd had been touched by her unwavering commitment to their film. She’d been there every day
for Rooney, and at times he had thought he’d seen her going to her hotel room as well. “Cate’s
helping her with the character motivation,” Sarah had explained hastily when he had asked about
it one morning. What a class act that woman was! Todd had enthused to his partner. Selfless and
endlessly giving.

“Let’s start with the read-through,” he declared urging everyone to have a seat around the table.
“First, I’ll introduce the characters briefly.” The earlier awkwardness gone, the cast took their
places. Todd was eager to continue. “Cate, you are the wealthy heiress with the split personality..”
Rooney’s eyes narrowed as she listened carefully. “…the cool and composed straight socialite
Elizabeth "Liz" Peabody by day, the insatiable con artist slash lesbian Vera Driftwood by night.”
Cate’s smile was perfunctory.

“Rooney,” Todd addressed, “you are C.O. DeWitt, a renowned expert of zoology and
herpetology, who also happens to be a lovelorn dyke returning from a six-month-expedition in the
Amazonas.” Rooney nodded ignoring Cate’s apparent amusement over Todd’s description.
“Needless to say you two bump into one another very early on.” Looking down at he water bottle
she was cradling with both hands, Rooney was suddenly uncertain how all of it would turn out,
look on the screen after everything that had happened between them.

New York City, USA, November 2015

“I… can’t… even…” Cate managed to heave while Rooney was banging her against the wall
mirror of their room at The Standard. The dark mustard colored dress Cate had worn to the New
York premiere of Carol looked disheveled and abandoned on the floor. She was wearing only the
pink corset and the high-heeled nude sandals – the remnants of her red carpet elegance Rooney
had insisted she leave on.

Her legs spread wide apart she could feel and even see Rooney thrusting her left hand fingers
inside her with a formidable determination, her dexterous right ones overpowering her anally.
Rooney, her Rooney, was bloody hell everywhere – ramming it all marvelously in, turning her
into a veritable fuckbot she now wanted to be more than anything else… She was willing and able
to take whatever her raven-haired goddess was shoving her way this time.

“Chemistry is not something that you can plan for,” she had said at the Q&A only a moment ago,
“it’s the magical stuff that you hope the camera’s catching.” Roons had just sat there all edgy in
that black leather dress of hers giving Cate the serious fuck eyes.

“Shut the fuck up then,” Rooney commanded, sinking her teeth in the softness of her
shoulder, making her whine out of an excruciating, prolonged want. You’re a one cocky bastard
and I love you. The instant the thought hit her Cate gave in to the most electrifying, shattering
orgasm of her life. I fucking love you.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“Let’s continue with Sarah and John…” Todd interrupted the impromptu chatter. “Sarah Paulson
is the lovesick star reporter Peggy Firestone who pairs up with her colleague Chester Grunion, the
one and only John Magaro..!” John took a bow while Sarah proceeded to curtsey. “Kyle will
portray Rex Evans, Elizabeth’s fiancé who is mainly after her money.” The actor in question
raised his right hand apologetically. “Yeah, another unsympathetic role, I know…” Cate patted his
arm sympathetically. Kyle is a first class actor, she appreciated, and not at all bad to look at
either. The disarming heterosexuality of her sudden epiphany brought a smile on her face. “And
last but not least, Carrie Brownstein as the actress wannabe slash village bicycle, Mary Jane
Hussey”. Carrie grinned at Todd’s words. “Yup, the pot-head thespian way too willingly
lesbian…”

The first scene they read through took place in an ocean liner. Rooney, the nerdy professor, falls
prey to Cate, the seductive con artist. “Dames…” Rooney read out loud, “I’ve been dodging them
for half a year now.” Cate picked up her script. “Why on earth would you do a thing like that? My
dear professor, you make it sound like we’re all mere pinballs bouncing around, reacting to one
another…” Rooney glanced at her as she was finishing her line. God, how gorgeous she is.

“Holy Sappho!” she exclaimed the next written line. “What is the matter?” She does look good in
that ridiculously handsome tux. “That perfume of yours… umm…” Rooney read. “Don’t you like
it?” Cate said. The shameless, sensuous smell of sex in their shared bed. “I’m positively cockeyed
on it… I haven’t been this close to a woman in six months let alone her scent.” Her intoxicating
blonde tresses resting on the pillow…

“I want a short woman with lots of money,” Cate read. Come to think of it, you are a real shorty.
And I have money. “Why short?” Rooney asked. No, fuck no, don’t go there… please, loins, have
mercy on me… “Does it really matter if she’s rich?” Cate quipped back slowly coming to terms
with the fact that here she was again getting ready to shoot a film with Rooney Mara.

“Cate and Rooney, you mind doing the lines on page 47? The entire first page, please.” Todd
scratched his head pensively. Rooney opened the script and took a deep breath deliberately
avoiding Cate’s gaze. She knew which scene was about to unfold and she hated getting into it
right away.

ROONEY: Liz…

CATE: What do you want?


ROONEY: You're wonderful. There's magnificence in you, Liz.

CATE: Now I'm getting self-conscious…

ROONEY: Magnificence that comes out of your eyes and your voice... in the way you
stand there, in the way you walk. You're lit from within, Liz. You've got fires banked
down in you... hearth fires and holocausts !

CATE: I don't seem to you made of bronze?

ROONEY: No. You're made out of flesh and blood. That's the blank, unholy surprise
of it. You're the golden girl, Liz... full of life and warmth and delight. What is it… you
got tears in your eyes?

CATE: Oh shut up, shut up… and please keep talking.

ROONEY: No, no, I've stopped.

CATE: Why? Has your mind taken hold again, dear Professor?

ROONEY: Well, it's a good thing, don't you agree?

CATE: No, Professor.

ROONEY: Lay off that "Professor" stuff! Do you hear me?

CATE: Yes, Professor.

ROONEY: That's all I am to you..? Let me tell you something…

CATE: I've got the shakes.

ROONEY: It can't be anything like love, can it?

CATE: No, no, it mustn't be. It can't.

ROONEY: Would it be inconvenient?

CATE: Terribly.

Todd was nodding. “It stays, all of it, don’t you think?” he asked aiming his words at Phyllis. “It’s
a gentle, suggestive scene, and that’s what we need here.”

Cate bowed her head down while Rooney stared morosely ahead thinking another time and place
two years ago…

Cannes, France, May 2015

It’s very clear… our love is here to stay… not for a year… but forever and a day… The song
Todd had picked for their entrance at the Cannes Film Festival premiere was loveliness itself. The
whole affair at Cannes being a romance exceeding all expectations anyone could have foreseen,
Cate even made a quip about her past dalliances with “numerous” women to the press though the
exact way of putting it would have been numerous dalliances with one woman.

Holding hands, they looked spectacular on the red carpet. “Tonight there won’t be any fucking,”
Rooney whispered into Cate’s ear when they approached the cinema palace. Demanding an
immediate explanation to such a cruel and unusual punishment, Cate turned to her quizzically.
Looking grave, Rooney squeezed her hand. “I will make sweet love to you tonight instead.”
Rooney’s smiling lips almost brushing her earlobe, Cate felt swimmy in the head. The happiness
she had felt over the past few days was suddenly too much, too real.

A week later Cate recanted her statement of former lesbian liaisons – a move Rooney disliked
immensely but tried to put out of her mind.
Honey Pot
Chapter Notes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CATE BLANCHETT - here's my gift to you, gorgeous


woman! (Question: What do you give to a woman who has everything?)

See the end of the chapter for more notes

New York, USA, October 9 2015

“This is Dashiell – say hello to Rooney,” Cate encouraged her eldest son. “And Roman and
Ignatius… come and say hi, don’t be shy now.” The boys came by gawking at Rooney
suspiciously at first. Cate hadn’t planned for them to meet but the situation had come up somewhat
unexpectedly.

“Hey Dash. Is it okay if I call you Dash?” Rooney asked giving the 14-year-old her loveliest
smile. Blushing, the lanky teenager just nodded. “You work with Mommy,” Ignatius interrupted.
The seven-year-old had a soft, sandy colored hair and a delightfully open look about him. “That’s
right,” Rooney acknowledged turning her attention to him. “We just made a movie together, and I
do remember seeing you on the set.” Pleased, the little boy grinned. “Yeah, I remember you too.”

Roman who had turned eleven in the spring looked miffed having been left out so far. “You’re
really short!” he retorted. “Roman, that is not a nice thing to say!” Cate scolded appalled by his
inappropriate behavior. “I sure am,” Rooney beamed at the boy, “and do you know why?” The
boy looked nonplussed. “So that I could tell you guys my secrets,” she continued mischievously.
“I don’t want the blonde lady standing by to hear everything I say to you.” The boys chuckled,
even Dash who didn’t really appreciate his brothers’ childish ramblings anymore.

Cate looked at Rooney chatting with her sons, and she liked what she saw. There was a certain
tenderness to her she had never seen before. Or maybe she had but lately she had tried to put it out
of her mind. It made her heart ache as well for she had almost hoped Rooney’s eventual meeting
with her children would turn out somehow badly so that she could snap out of her spell.

Coming from a large extended family, Rooney was a natural with children. If she came across as
sullen and tongue-tied among her peers and the press, there was no trace of it visible right now.
She was playful and funny, tender and smiling – everything a little boy could possibly hope for,
Cate thought. Everything I could ever hope for?

Cate was relieved to hand her boys over to Rooney for a second since her mind was occupied
with conflicting feelings, thoughts and images. Her adopted daughter Edith was with Andrew at
the moment and she should’ve really been concentrating on her baby. But it was the other baby
who crowded her mind right now, the one laughing with her boys at the very minute. The
uninvited flashbacks of their lovemaking washed over her and she felt suddenly very guilty,
unworthy of her family’s love for her. Rooney, Rooney – I can’t have you…

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

The filming having commenced, Todd was ready to give his orders. “Sarah, John – are you
ready?” he asked the actors waiting on the sidelines. “Sure thing,” quipped Sarah. “As ready as
I’ll ever be,” confirmed John slapping her co-star playfully on the butt. “Well, aren’t you frisky?”
Sarah chuckled, “Why don’t you save that for Jake and leave my delicious derriere in peace…”
John wiggled his eyebrows. “There’s plenty left for Jake,” John snorted referring to Jake Lacey,
“but I suppose we’d better save the wisecracking for the film.”

Cate had come to see the shoot. She wanted to study their interaction to get a feel of the light-
hearted banter between their characters, Peggy Firestone and Chester Grunion. It would help her
to adjust her performance accordingly. She was tired, almost exhausted having listened to the
noises coming from Rooney’s room right next to her. Why the hell anyone had thought such an
arrangement would be a good idea in the first place, escaped her. There was a steady stream of
young hopefuls entering Rooney’s room every night and by the sound of it, most of them met with
Miss Mara’s approval.

One evening Cate had been standing in front of her room door when Rooney’s had opened.
Wearing only her robe, Rooney had passionately kissed her latest starlet goodnight and ushered
her on her way. While the girl had giggled out of sight, Rooney had glanced at Cate quirking her
eyebrows contemptuously. Struggling to open the uncooperative lock, Cate couldn’t wait to get to
her room.

Los Angeles, USA, August 2015

“I bet girls just throw themselves at you, Roo,” Cate said circling her suggestively. “I bet they’re
waiting for you to have your way with them…” Rooney flashed a wicked smile. “It’s been known
to happen.” She welcomed any kind of foreplay and this was no exception. “You jealous, Cate?”
she teased maintaining eye contact with the blonde. “Me? Never…” Cate snapped back grinning
devilishly.

“You’re sure? Not even a tad?” Rooney tantalized. “The things I’ve done to those poor innocent
girls… roughed them up…” she squinted her eyes, “…tied them up in bed and fucked the living
daylights out of their pretty heads.” The image of Rooney with someone else flashing through her
brain was more than enough to egg Cate on. She gripped her by her wrist and looked Rooney
straight into her eyes. “Still want to fuck girls other than me?” she threatened her other hand
pressing Rooney tightly against her body. “I’ll teach you… I’ll teach you good, and when I’m
done I seriously doubt you’ll ever want to fuck another little bitch.” Cate’s mouth collided on
Rooney’s and when she bit her lip, Rooney winced out of wild excitement shattering her former
bravado. “Yeah, Cate, make me your bitch…”

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

JOHN: “Hi ya, Peg! Ready for a gig?

SARAH: “Sure, hon. What’s the deal here?”

JOHN: “It’s the Peabody-Evans wedding in Philadelphia. Webster wants a scoop on


it, he says there’s something fishy about the Peabody dame.

SARAH: “Oh yeah? And we’re the schmucks pulling the fast one on the poor
unsuspecting bride?”

JOHN: “Poor is hardly the word for her. The broad is dripping with dough… and
apparently it’s not the only thing she’s dripping.”

SARAH: “You make it sound positively lewd. I’m intrigued.”


JOHN: “Let’s just say Elizabeth Peabody is a dripping honey pot serving all kinds of
queer clientele, and we’re gonna get the skinny on her…

A dripping honey pot, Cate sighed watching Sarah and John shine in their custom-made roles. In
any other situation she would have found the scene funny but remembering one night about a year
and a half ago made her suddenly sad and depressed…

Los Angeles, USA, January 2016

It was only a couple of days before their string of California publicity events as well as the Golden
Globe Awards when Cate got an email from Sarah.

Hi honey,

Todd asked me to inform you about the change in plans. Meet you at Four Seasons
already the night before on January 5th.

Sarah xxx

Cate was a bit peeved to receive it on such a short notice but the idea of spending an extra day
with Rooney appealed to her greatly. “I’m sick and tired of this movie monopolizing your time,”
Andrew complained. He didn’t like Todd’s idea at all, especially since he was the one who had to
stay home to take care of little Edith. “Honey, it’s only an extra day,” Cate assured, “you’ll
survive, and it’s not like you’ll be here all by yourself.”

She was grateful for this opportunity to get away from home, and even though she wasn’t
particularly excited about spending yet another night at the hotel, she welcomed the change after
the strained time she’d lately been having with her husband. Feeling a little worn out after flying
across the continent, she retreated to her suite to refresh for the evening.

Cate was rather surprised to see no note or flowers from Todd to greet her upon her arrival. It
wasn’t like him to miss an opportunity to a grand gesture, she mused. Gay men have spoilt me,
she smiled to herself. An hour passed and still there was no sign of Todd or anyone else for that
matter. Did I misunderstand something? She wondered. There was a room reservation on her
name, though, so she had been expected to arrive today.

It was almost seven when a note was finally delivered to her room. Thank God, Cate thought
tearing the envelope open. At first she thought someone had played a practical joke on her since
the letter didn’t seem to contain anything. On closer inspection she found a plastic card inside – a
key card for the Presidential Suite and a small piece of paper stating the time “8 PM”.

Something told her this was going to be a festive occasion so she decided to put on her blush pink
number she had had in Cannes. It was adorned with ruffles across her chest and she was again
pleased to see how the high-necked piece with cap sleeves skimmed her slender hips.

Cate made her way to the Presidential Suite at 8 sharp. Opening the door with the key card, she
expected to find her colleagues in the middle of a lively conversation. It’s good to see the old
gang, she smiled entering the sumptuous suite. For a moment she thought she had stepped into a
wrong room since she could see or hear hardly anything.

“Hey, Cate...” Rooney, elegant in her extravagant white top and short black skirt, stepped out of
the shadows. Her smile was more gorgeous than ever. Transfixed by her beauty, Cate felt as if
everything was right and good and meaningful in the world; that this was the place where she was
supposed to be out of all the other possible places waiting for her. “Hey, Roo…” she said quietly
the corners of her eyes crinkling of happiness as she beamed at the petite woman in front of her.

“It was about two years ago when we first met,” Rooney started approaching her slowly, “I
thought we could celebrate a little…” There were two flutes of champagne waiting on the table
but they were left untouched for now. Cate met Rooney half way and when they kissed, it ignited
the splendid spark of desire they had grown to love so very much.

Their mouths melting together, they found it soon hard to settle for mere kissing. “Take me to
bed,” Cate whispered in Rooney’s ear, and her wish was her command.

There was no Todd, no Phyllis, no Christine nor Sarah at the Four Seasons. Sarah had agreed to
play the Cupid in Rooney’s plan, and Cate adored her for it. Most of all she adored Rooney who
slipped out of her dress with such ease it took Cate’s breath away.

To see her so effortlessly naked on the bed filled Cate with unforeseen joy. They hadn’t seen each
other for two weeks. You – you feel like home, she thought undressing under Rooney’s
unwavering gaze. Smiling, she took her place on top of her, straddling her, sensing again the
overwhelming wonder of how perfectly their curves complimented one another.

Everything about Rooney – the pale, soft skin, the luminosity of her perfectly round breasts, the
silken surface of her thighs – made her drunk with want throbbing impatiently in her groin. Yet
she knew they would take their time tonight for there was no rush, no tomorrow, nor any other
future other than bliss. Tonight belonged to them and only to them, the air they breathed becoming
fragrant with their ceaseless, sweet repetition.

When she leaned over to press her mouth on hers, something inside them stirred irrevocably
setting in motion the rhythm, the ebb and flow of their bodies. Rooney took charge of her gently,
gliding her hand to meet Cate’s folds, moving her nimble fingers inside her wet heat. She took
such pleasure in seeing all the shifts in Cate’s posture, in her unsteady breathing, on her body
flushed with intense arousal.

“Look at me,” Rooney whispered when she knew Cate was on the verge of her orgasm, “I want
you to look at me when you come…” And Cate raised her head to meet Rooney’s gaze just when
she couldn’t keep it in anymore. Opening her mouth she stared at the brunette her own blonde
strands sticking to her sweaty temples. Rooney adored the frantic look on Cate’s face when she
finally climaxed and went slack with the luscious release.

“Cate…” Rooney murmured holding the gorgeous blonde in her arms. “Cate, I’m in love with
you.” Hearing her quiet confession, Cate kissed and caressed her serious face. “Rooney,
Rooney… don’t you know I love you?”

Chapter End Notes

Dear bday present! You asked for this, so I hope you liked it <3
Waterloo

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Action!” Todd gave the command to get the camera rolling.

CATE: What did you just say, dear Professor?

ROONEY: You heard me.

CATE: I don’t think I did… it must be the champagne or the moonlight, I can’t
decide which. Or maybe it’s that shiny shirt you’re wearing. It blinds me…

ROONEY: I said I love you, Liz – or should I say Vera?

CATE: Liz, Vera… is there a difference? …You love me, Professor?

ROONEY: Yes… [goes to Cate and pulls her close, looks closely at her lips and is
about to kiss her…]

Rooney raised her hand to interrupt the scene. “Cut… what is it, Roons?” Todd asked impatiently.
“I’m sorry Todd… guys… I need to take five.” She didn’t waste any time getting out of the
studio. “What the fuck just happened?” Todd wondered out loud. His eyes were glued to Cate
who shrugged her shoulders. “Beats me,” she replied feigning genuine surprise while her own
heart was thumping fiercely, almost bringing tears to her eyes.

Neither of them knew at the moment that the shoot was over for the day. An hour later Rooney
called in sick, unable to continue for now. Her PA informed the crew about it extending Miss
Mara’s heartfelt apologies for making them wait and postponing the shoot. “She didn’t look ill,”
Todd mused going through the call sheet for the next day. “It’s the migraine acting up again, and
Miss Mara immediately recognized the first signs of it,” Rooney’s PA was quick to add, “Luckily
she was able to get the meds right away so it won’t become a full-blown episode.” Todd was
nodding as he browsed his papers pensively. “Good, good… just tell her whatever she needs,
we’ll get it for her.”

Eavesdropping, Cate became very worried. She’d seen the look in Rooney’s eyes just before she
was supposed to kiss her. The look of anguish and heartache – or maybe it had been disgust
instead? The thought of Rooney kissing her had sent Cate’s entire body bristling, and the
realization of it made her uneasy. There was no denying that she had wanted Rooney to kiss her
even if only on the set in front of prying eyes of the crew. What the fuck? she worried. What kind
of a screwed up conclusion is that?

Cincinnati, USA, 17th April 2014

“This is it, folks… The Waterloo,” Todd grinned enthusiastically. “Everyone who’s not needed on
the set, clear out now!” The love scene Cate and Rooney were supposed to shoot next was done
on a closed set with only a few crew members present. “You want us to strip as well? Everyone’s
up to it if you’d feel more comfortable that way?” Todd offered graciously. “Thanks, Todd – and
thank you, guys, but it’s really not necessary,” Cate smiled glancing at Rooney who was shaking
her head as well. “C’mon, it’s not a biggie… we’ll be fine,” Rooney chuckled.

Cate was nervous, though. More nervous than she’d ever been before a love scene in front of a
camera. It wasn’t her first time, God no, but this situation was so different from all the other
occasions. One of the very first scenes they’d practiced and shot was the kissing scene in the hotel
after they’d already consummated their budding love affair. Cate remembered it far too vividly.
The amazing chemistry had been there right from the very beginning – heck, she had felt it already
in Santa Barbara. And when they’d done the heart-wrenching make out scene, it had gotten
worse.

Kissing Rooney wearing her adorable polka dot pajamas, Cate had felt electrified already by the
first brush of their lips. The sensation had shot right through her all the way between her legs.
When the kiss had deepened Rooney’s mouth and tongue excavating hers, Cate had become
swimmy with instant arousal. She had lost the sense of time and place drowning in their kiss,
growing more wanting every second. Finally having to detach, Cate had been desperate to linger
in it, to let her hands roam free over Rooney’s soft, warm body. And her eyes, God her eyes,
when Cate finally faced her after the scene… they’d been dark green mirrors of their shared
desire. Her lips just slightly parted, Rooney had stared at her breathless mouth as if wanting to sink
her teeth violently on its ruby red exterior. Such intense need, such fury, had left her weak.

And now it was Waterloo – I wonder if this is my Waterloo as well? Cate mused agitated by the
prospect of having to undress right in front of Rooney’s eyes. As Carol Aird she would have to be
the one to make the first move, she knew, and she dreaded her own inexperience would shine
through. Sure, she had had a thing or two with a couple of women before her marriage to Andrew
but none of them had amounted to much. The sexual aspect had always kind of eluded her – until
now, until Rooney. She was experienced, Cate was certain of it. This Charlie fella who had come
by to visit on the set had been nice enough but he had appeared far too, well, gay to be taken
seriously as Rooney’s significant other. Besides there were rumors circling around Rooney of her
having been intimate with a number of women over the past few years. Miss Mara was also quite
chummy with Sarah Paulson who was as they all knew as gay as they come.

Now Cate felt she wanted nothing as much as to have Rooney fuck her though the mere thought
of it sent her shivering of fear and excitement. But to be honest, she was far too afraid of it. Cate
wasn’t at all sure she could handle it and not handling it made her decide she would never act on
any of it. Cate needed to control the situation, she always had and by God she wasn’t going to
lose her marbles now.

Everything was finally ready for Todd’s signal. “Action!” Cate stood in the bathroom looking at
herself in the mirror, getting ready for bed. Carol is contemplating if this is the moment, and then
she makes her decision… Cate switched the light off and walked over to Rooney who was sitting
at the dressing table. She, Therese, was combing her hair. “Happy New Year,” Cate said and took
a sip from the beer bottle. Now Carol makes her first move… Cate took the brush from Rooney
and began to brush her hair slowly, gently. “Happy New Year,” Rooney responded looking at
Cate through the mirror. Now I – no, Carol – places her hand on her shoulder… Rooney took
hold of her hand lacing their fingers together.

“Harge and I never spend New Year’s Eve together… always business functions…” I can’t
fucking hear my own words let alone breathe… Rooney’s voice took over. “I’ve always spent it
alone. In crowds… I’m not alone this year.” This is my cue, do it woman, open your fucking robe
and let her see you! Emboldened by the squeeze of Rooney’s hand Cate untied her robe and let it
fall open. The quietness of the room felt suddenly suffocating, unbearable. And then, ever so
slowly, Rooney turned to face her, to invite her to a kiss that would change everything between
Carol and Therese – between Cate and Rooney. What a kiss… deliciously slow and unhurried,
rapturous and full of promise.

“Take me to bed.” Rooney’s voice a hoarse yet determined whisper. I will, my love. Cate dropped
her robe on the floor while Rooney slipped out of hers. My God you are beautiful… “I never
looked like that,” Cate said in Carol’s voice yet the truth in it was Cate’s. Now you’re supposed to
straddle her, what are you waiting for? Rooney looked so delicate. “You’re trembling.” Am I to
switch off the light now? I hope not… yes, I am. “ Don’t. I want to see you.” Rooney sounded so
decisive. Oo-kay… the going down part next… Cate slid down Rooney’s body kissing her belly…
Jesus fucking Christ she’s hot… moving her mouth along its smoldering surface. She’s actually
trembling while I do this! Her mind racing, Cate was for a flash of a second unsure what to do
next. Fuck, it’s nipple time… FOR FUCK’S SAKE, BLANCHETT, GET A GRIP, YOU’RE
ACTING, YOU’VE WON AN OSCAR! Mmm… it tastes sooo good… Rooney moaned softly and
pulled Cate up to her mouth. My darling... The kiss was eager, passionate, full of longing and
want. I want to fuck you, Rooney… oh God how I want it.

“My angel, flung out of space…”

“Aaaand…Cut! That’s a wrap!” Todd yelled excitedly. “It was absolutely stunning! Whoa… I’m
impressed!” He was grinning madly. “You two… oh my fucking God, it was beautiful – and even
if I don’t go for this thing myself… it was fucking HOT!” Rooney smiled unabashedly clearly
proud of what had just been accomplished while Cate was still seriously out of breath. “Really,
you two… I felt like a peeping Tom in here,” Todd’s tireless rant went on and on, “If I didn’t
know better, I’d swear you weren’t acting at all!”

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Rooney..?” Cate’s voice was a mere whisper. She had knocked on the door of her room but no
one had answered it. “Are you alright?” Someone was moving inside now. “Please, Rooney…
open the door,” Cate pleaded. She didn’t know why she had thought of going to see her was a
good idea to begin with but there she was right now, standing behind Rooney’s door.

“Go away.” The uttered words sounded tired and sad. “C’mon… let me in,” Cate said one more
time. She knew Rooney was quite close for she could almost hear her breathing. The door opened
slowly. “What do you want?” The brunette’s exhausted eyes looked bloodshot with pained, red
rims. She looked both angry and hurt. Seeing Rooney like this was like a stab in Cate’s chest, a
stab of remorse she hadn’t seen coming.

“You left so quickly I wanted to see you…” Cate started apprehensively. “Well, now you’ve seen
me. Happy?” Rooney snapped back. She was cursing under her breath. “No, I’m not happy, not
at all.” Cate felt helpless, unsure what it was she should do – what she could do. “Well, I can’t
help you with that, now can I?” Rooney’s voice was pained once more.

“We don’t have to be like this, please, Roo…” Rooney flinched as if Cate had slapped her across
the face. “Don’t you dare…” she fumed, “don’t you fucking dare!” Why the fuck did I have to call
her Roo?!? It had after all been the pet name she had given her one time lover. Ashamed, she
bowed her head. “Know what, Blanchett, get the fuck out of my room and don’t you ever try to
come here uninvited again… that should be easy for you to remember since you don’t show up
invited either!”

Hollywood, USA, 28 February 2016

“Jesus, how beautiful you look tonight…” Rooney whispered to Cate when they were taking their
seats at the 88th Academy Awards. Her smile was more radiant than ever. “I wish we didn’t have
to be here at all… I just want to have you all to myself.” Cate blushed just thinking about it. “I
know…” she replied quirking her eyebrows meaningfully. “This is not going to be Carol’s night,
I feel it in my bones but it’s sure gonna be our night, darling – and I feel it in a whole different
place.” Cate’s reply deepened Rooney’s dimpled grin. She couldn’t have cared less if Carol won
or lost, she had won her very own Cate and it meant more than any Oscar in the whole friggin’
world.
Six hours later

Moaning, Rooney arched her back when she felt her orgasm nearing her, the excruciatingly sweet
shockwave of pleasure impaling her very core. The grave intensity of Rooney’s face made Cate
euphoric her fingers thrusting in agitated rhythm inside the woman on top of her. “Cate… oh
fuck… harder…” Rooney gasped moving against her slick hand. “Fuuuuck…” she managed to
wail breathlessly when it hit her, when the ecstasy she was no longer able to postpone engulfed
her entirely. “I love you, I love you.”

They made a plan to meet the day after tomorrow to discuss their future together. It was about
time, they both agreed. “Rooney, you do know this has never been just fucking for me?” Cate said
caressing her face softly. “I do,” Rooney acknowledged. “Maybe in the beginning it was but then
it changed – we changed.”

Los Angeles, USA, 1 March 2016

It was 2 PM. Rooney waited at a coffee shop reading a newspaper. She had trouble concentrating
on it, though. This is a great day, she thought, the greatest day of my life. The sweet anticipation
of seeing Cate’s face filled her with such happiness she was beside herself. I will mend my ways, I
will become a whole new person for her. No more fucking around, ever.

At 6 PM she was still waiting.


In Love and War
Chapter Notes

Thank you for the huge, lovely enthusiasm some of you have shown for this fic... I
truly appreciate it. My sincerest apologies for my tardiness, it's been mad irl (FUCK
WORK!)

I hope you'll enjoy the update. Toodle-loo!

Los Angeles, USA, 29 February 2016

"Do you really think I'm so stupid I don't know what's been going on?" Andrew's voice was
getting angrier by each word he managed to spit out. "That I'm the only, hapless idiot who has no
fucking clue that you're banging your co-star?" Hearing the truth come out so harshly out of her
husband's mouth, Cate squinted her eyes in pain.

She hadn't seen it coming, not at all. She hadn’t expected him to come to L.A. either, let alone
drag the children with him on a cross-country flight. How could he know after all the trouble they
had taken to keep their affair secret? He must have had her followed, spied at, flashed through her
mind. "It's not what you think, Andrew..." she started but her husband was by no means finished
yet. "What is it, Cate - some perv little Carol kink of your own, huh?" he kept on going,

"Method acting taken to extreme?" His voice was livid now. "Who did you fuck when you were
shooting Blue Jasmine, Cate? That one won you an Oscar after all?" Cate buried her head in her
arms not wanting to hear another word. "Well, it couldn't have been Woody himself because
you're too fucking old for him!" Her eyes welling with tears of desperation and anger, Cate
couldn't take it anymore. "I'm not banging anyone!!!" she yelled her shrill outcry swiftly reducing
into helpless sobs the next moment.

"For God's sake, Cate! You've fallen for this pretty little thing, is that what you're saying?"
Andrew looked at her horrified. "If you have, you've got another thing coming for she's no
Therese fucking Belivet..." Andrew scoffed disgustedly. "She's a real piece of work, a regular
one-woman-sex-show ready to cater for anyone interested in taking a brisk walk on the wild side."
He had to draw breath and while he did it Cate saw how tired and miserable her husband truly
was.

She couldn't help but feel meek under his angry stare because she had after all betrayed their
wedding vows, no doubt about it. "What brought this on, Cate? Weren't we happy? Doesn't your
family mean anything to you?" Andrew's voice broke almost unnoticeably but they'd been
together long enough for Cate to recognize his true moment of heartbreak.

“We’ve been constantly apart, Andrew…” Cate whispered uncertainly. She was grasping at
straws trying to figure out the right approach, the right word to get them closer to an understanding
or at least a truce, for now. “This hasn’t been much of a marriage for quite some time… and I do
know about you, as well.” Andrew cast a furious look at Cate. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Avoiding his angry stare, Cate crossed her arms. It had been too soon for her to match his
accusations but now the cat was already out of the bag.

“I know it hasn’t been anything serious, and I’ve looked the other way.” She hoped the floor
would part under her feet and rescue her from this moment of unnecessary blame. She thought of
naked, happy Rooney wrestling her in bed, pinning her wrists on the mattress, covering her
dimples with the pulled out corners of the sheet… smiling with her mossy green eyes the morning
after the Academy Awards… was it really only yesterday? The pain Andrew had inflicted upon
her since their abrupt reunion seemed to have lasted so much longer than that.

Cincinnati, USA, 23rd April 2014

“Please, babe…” Rooney huffed wanting Cate’s erect fingers to find her wet, swelling opening.
Wearing her shop girl gear minus the pleated skirt and her panties, she was straddling Cate in a
chair grinding her aching hole against her manicured hands. Stealing a moment between the
shoots, occurred to Cate who looked forward to their breaks as welcomed reliefs from the hurly-
burly of their sets. Like Roons, Cate was also in her costume.

They’d been fucking each other for almost a week now, and neither one of them seemed to get
enough of it. As much as Cate had both wanted and dreaded their physical encounter, the
experience itself had overwhelmed her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. She enjoyed sex just
as much as any straight woman at her statistically indicative sexual peak, even more, she liked to
think, but with Rooney she felt all her resolve crumble the minute Rooney touched or just looked
at her.

Cate lifted Rooney’s ribbed sweater to reveal her small, perky breasts. Rubbing her hardened
nipples, she fucked Rooney so expertly with her other hand one could have thought she’d been
doing it forever – or was it in fact Rooney fucking her fingers? Cate could never tell, but she
enjoyed the way Rooney’s cunt was closing in on them, coating their surface with her flowing
juices.

It was always an ardent moment when Rooney got up on her feet to press her hungry slit to Cate’s
obedient mouth. Her feet slightly trembling, Rooney grabbed the back of Cate’s head to bring it
even closer to her throbbing core. “I want my cunt to smudge that red lipstick of yours,” she
groaned laboriously, “I want it all over, massaged on my clit…” Roons continued hoarsely.
Straightening her back slightly, she was getting close. “Oh…fuck…” she moaned Cate’s tongue
darting deep inside her, “You’re a natural…”

A violent orgasm ricocheted from Rooney’s core all the way down to Cate’s hot, pulsating pit.
Their 15-minute-break from shooting made it very 50’s kind of a fuck indeed. This could be one
of the scenes left on the cutting room floor, flashed through Cate’s brain. Carol Aird eating the
shop girl in the back room of the Frankenberg’s department store.

"What happens now?" Cate asked Rooney as they were getting ready to return to the set. Some
touching up was obviously needed first, Cate noticed glancing at Carol Aird's compact mirror. She
also needed an answer because her job was nearly done. "Everything happens," Roons replied
squeezing her butt as she passed her by on her way to the door. Was it then Cate saw it for the first
time? Rooney looked at Cate over her shoulder. Yes, she looked unmistakably happy.

Los Angeles, USA, 1 March 2016

Packing her suitcase Cate wished Andrew would just leave her alone. They had argued the entire
night and she was exhausted both mentally and physically. Cate had rings around her eyes and all
of a sudden she thought she looked her age. I’m almost 47, she agonized, and she’ll be 31 soon.
Cate missed Rooney with every fiber of her worn-out body. She had decided she’d grab her hand
the minute she got into their meeting place and drag her far, far away from this maddening crowd
known as Los Angeles.
The City of Angels, the City of my Angel flung out of space. Cate closed her eyes recalling
Rooney’s silent giggle on the bed as she had tried to overpower her. The muted, black-and-white
memory of the two of them touring with Carol breathed new, vibrant air into the musty corners of
her mind. Her tired limbs ached of her yearning as she sat down in a chair of the guest bedroom
she had used a lot recently.

Hearing footsteps approaching, Cate’s shoulders stiffened. Rooney’s smile still lingered on across
the canvas of her mind when Andrew stepped in. He had something under his arm – a folder of
some sort. “What are you doing, Cate?” His voice was strained. “What does it look like I’m
doing…” Cate muttered trying to hide her displeasure in his unwanted presence. “Like you’re
about to make a huge mistake.” Andrew was suddenly standing very close to her, invading her
space. “You do this and you won’t know what hit you…” he circled her menacingly. “I’ll make
damn sure your name will be dragged through the gutter in every way imaginable…” Hearing his
icy words, Cate interrupted her packing. “You threatening me, Andrew?” she spoke up loud and
clear. Oh yes, there was still plenty of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen waiting to happen in Cate
Blanchett.

“Threatening you, my dear wife? What on earth gave you that idea… I’m just telling it like it is.”
Andrew stated emphatically. “The best possible case scenario? Let’s see what would that be…”
he paced the room as if thinking the situation through in all earnest. “You keep doing movies with
Woody… oh wait – he doesn’t really want to work with the same actresses unless you have a
certain lolitaesque appeal like, say, Scarlett Johansson.” Cate flinched knowing he had only just
begun. “Or maybe you’ll become the queen of the queer cinema. You know, starring in cute little
shoestring productions opposite Natasha Lyonne, Guinevere Turner and the like…” His face
came really close to hers. “I bet you’d love that, wouldn’t you, Cate?” There was nothing kind nor
caring in his voice.

“But why would you care about what I say, Cate?” Andrew concluded bitterly. “Why would you
give a shit about your three growing boys and your defenseless baby girl?” He thrust the folder
onto the side table and cast one last look at his unfaithful wife. “After all, this is clearly the true
love for you. Go for it, abandon everything and see how far it’ll take you.” Scoffing, he turned on
his heels and exited the room.

Cate looked at the folder he’d left behind. Don’t open it. How wise it would’ve been to obey her
first instinct but no – she couldn’t resist the temptation. Her hands shaking, she opened the large
envelope inside the folder. A set of photos slid on the table: paparazzi sightings of Rooney and a
dark haired woman Cate didn’t recognize. The easy, intimate smile on Rooney’s face.

On the backside of the print it said “Rooney Mara with her lesbian lover Francesca Gregorini
exiting latter’s penthouse on…” The date was indecipherable at first but Cate made sense out of it
soon enough. “…on 30 January 2016.” A mere month ago?

Cate collapsed on the chair next to the table the contents of which she suddenly found hideous.
She was trembling all over, her head shaking involuntarily in tiny jerky movements and her
breathing becoming exceedingly irregular and agitated. For a moment Cate thought she’d pass out,
lose her consciousness when she sensed somebody standing in the doorway.

“Mom…” It was Ignatius. “Yes, sweet pea?” Cate mustered all her leftover strength to her
breathless question. “Are you going to leave us?” The boy stood half in the shadow, half in the
light. Clenching her jaw, Cate felt her cheeks start to twitch uncontrollably. Her eyes stung of tears
still on their way to her consciousness. Her insides twisting into a pained knot, she bowed her
head to let out a sound almost inhumane in its desolation. “No, sweetheart…” Cate whimpered
pressing her gentle son against her grieving chest, “I’ll never leave you.”
Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Okay… you think we could get this finally done? I mean we’ve postponed this way too long,”
Todd challenged his leading ladies. “C’mon, what’s the big deal here? You’ve done heavier shit
before – even with each other!” he chuckled encouragingly. Rooney cast a nervous eye at Cate.
There was something fluttering in her appearance, something so uncertain and ill at ease Cate
couldn’t help but feel nauseous on her behalf. She had watched Carol in her hotel room just a
couple of nights ago. Cate rarely if ever watched her own films but now she had wanted to see
Carol for Rooney’s sake.

Cate remembered the each scene as it had unfolded before the camera and then, afterwards,
behind the closed curtains of their respective rooms. She recalled each look, each delighted smile,
each welcomed appearance of the most adorable pair of dimples ever – and by God, she recalled
the love that had the power to gut you into shreds, to make you run out of a car in the middle of
the night and throw up by the side of the road just because of the sheer misery of losing or,
alternatively, giving up on, love.

“Basically, hey – I just want you to kiss, that’s all,” Todd instructed when they were waiting
around on the set. “We got a lot of it already – the champagne/moonlight banter, the love blah
blah blah… now all we want is the kiss – the bloody kiss, for crying out loud!” Phyllis came by to
calm him down. “Todd, dear, you’re not exactly helping… Can I have a quick word with you,
ladies?” Phyllis linked her arms with both Cate and Rooney.

“This is none of my business, I know, and then again, this is very much my business –
financially.” Phyllis watched them both intently. “I don’t know what happened between you two
after the Oscars, all I know is what happened before them, and I, for one, loved seeing it flourish
and blossom.” She shook her head somewhat disappointedly. “But this is work, just work, and I
suggest you two start treating it as such.” Both Cate and Rooney nodded embarrassedly averting
their eyes from Phyllis.

“Action!” Todd followed the scene with growing trepidation.

ROONEY: I said I love you, Liz – or should I say Vera?

CATE: Liz, Vera… is there a difference? …You love me, Professor?

ROONEY: Yes…

Rooney walked over to Cate and pulled her close. Their eyes met, and for a sweet second there
was a faint recollection of things past, of caresses slow and fast. And when their lips met it almost
tasted like forgiveness – or wishful thinking. How can anyone ever tell those two apart?

Everything surrounding them that very minute disappeared from view, vanished off the face of the
earth leaving only the reaching out and the imminent collision of their lips behind. Rooney’s
mouth as heated and possessive as ever deprived Cate of any other senses, and the curves of
Cate’s immaculate waist sent her younger co-star swooning with weakening resistance.

A kiss as perfect as fearless comet, soaring across the night sky, it lit the stars with its magic wand
tail. It was all too much for the conscious mind yet far too little for the rest. The continuous stream
of charged particles of desire orbiting them once more, they remained locked in uninterrupted
shivering embrace.

“Cut!” No.
Persona non grata

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

When Sarah asked Cate to join her for cocktails after a scene they'd just filmed together, she was
pleasantly surprised. Guess I'm not quite the persona non grata I thought I was, Cate mused. She
was happy to have company after all the cold shoulder she at least imagined having been given so
far.

“Whatever happened to you guys?” Sarah asked when they’d gotten their drinks. By God, she's
not beating around the bush, Cate winced. “You were so happy, everyone could see it – well,
everyone except Todd!” Sarah chuckled. Cate fondled the stem of her wine glass afraid to say
anything. “Cate – you do know I’m your friend too? Goddammit, I played an instrumental role in
some of your secret rendezvous,” she pointed out emphatically. “And I can see through all that
Blanchett bravado that you’re hurting as well…” Sarah reached for her hand.

I have no choice but to trust her. Cate opened her mouth then closed it again. “Go ahead, honey.”
Sarah squeezed her hand encouragingly. I wanted to be with her. But it wasn’t what she said.
“Where’s that girl friend of hers? I haven’t seen her around,” Cate asked dryly. “Judging by
Rooney’s behavior, they must have an open relationship or something…” Sarah looked at her
weirdly. “A girl friend?” she sounded very surprised. “What the hell are you talking about?” Cate
was annoyed. Did she really have to spell it out for her? “The woman, you know – the one she
was two-timing me with a year and a half ago…” It came out a bit too bitterly, she realized right
away. “Rooney doesn’t have a girl friend… she hasn’t had one since you,” Sarah explained
gravely. “And she sure as hell wasn't two-timing you, Cate.” Now she sounded almost angry.

“What is this? Some kind of a conspiracy against me? 'Let’s rattle Cate', right?” she snapped at
Sarah. “And you just called yourself my friend… knowing fully well this Francesca… this bloody
Italian brunette what-the-hell-her-name-was…” Sarah let out a surprised laugh. “Oh you mean
Francesca Gregorini?” Cate stopped to stare at her. Finally the truth comes out.

“My god, Cate, that was like… eight years ago!” Sarah couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“Yeah, Ringo Starr’s step daughter, she directed one of Rooney’s films, Tanner Hall, in 2009.”
Sarah smiled remembering. “They were an item at the time but it didn’t last… I didn’t know
Roons then but she’s told me a bit about it.” All of a sudden Cate had trouble breathing.

“In 2009? I have a photo of them together dated January 2016…” Sarah cast a stern look at her.
“What photo?” Cate was panicking more every second. “A photo of them exiting Francesca’s
apartment…” Sarah drew a deep breath. “Rooney giving her the famous smile? Wearing a black
hoodie?” Cate nodded silently. “Fuck, Cate… what ever made you think it was in 2016? It was
taken in the fall of 2009…” Oh my fucking god. Cate squinted her eyes abruptly. Fucking
Andrew, he planned the whole thing.

“This is what you based your decision on?” Sarah asked. She was accusing her, Cate knew and
she deserved every accusation. “I was misled to believe so…” Sarah ran her hands through her
hair in desperation. “Your husband..?” she inquired knowing the answer already. “Yeah…” Sarah
shook her head. “This is some seriously fucked-up shit, Blanchett…”

Santa Monica, USA, February 2016

“What is it that you’re wearing tonight, Cate?” the reporter asked on the red carpet of the
Independent Spirit Awards. “This little thing?” Cate grinned, “It’s Gucci, and my lovely co-star,
Rooney Mara, over here dons Hugo Boss…” She took Rooney’s hand and pulled her closer. “Is
there something special you’d like to say before the gala – Cate, Rooney?”

Rooney had a sudden impulse to confess her love for Cate to the entire world. She kept her mouth
shut, of course, and smiled shyly instead. The loving warmth of Cate’s hand pervaded her body
and it was quite enough for her for the time being. Cate smiled at Rooney before answering.
Somehow she seemed to know what Rooney was thinking. “Love is love, that’s what we’re here
to tell each and every one of you.”

When it was their turn to get up on the stage and introduce Carol, Cate grabbed Rooney’s boob in
front of the entire audience. Rooney couldn’t help but grin. We’re hiding in plain sight, she
remembered Cate telling her the other day. When Cate mentioned Carol Aird’s process of
reconciling her desire for another woman Rooney glanced at her wondering if she was in fact
referring to herself as well. Rooney mentioned Carol’s and Therese’s intense longing to become
one and the inescapable torment that pulled them apart.

Love is love, Rooney mused listening to her beloved, our love is love. We won’t ever be pulled
apart.

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Kyle, Carrie?” Todd called, “It’s your turn next. Let’s take it from the top.” Cate had come to see
the shoot just to kill time. To be honest, the talk she’d had with Sarah was weighing heavily on
her shoulders and she was ready to do just about anything to put it out of her mind for a second.

“Action!”

KYLE: Hussey? That was your name?

CARRIE: Yes, but don’t overuse it. Who are you?

KYLE: I’m the guy who pays you big bucks if you quit asking stupid questions.

CARRIE: Fine… I hear you, mister – Mister Moneybags it is, then. How can I help
you, sir?

KYLE: You know C.O.D.?

CARRIE: Cash on delivery? Darling, I’m used to get paid after I’ve delivered…

KYLE: Enough with the funny quips. C.O.D. – Cassandra Ophelia DeWitt – the
tiresome zoologist who keeps poking her nose into Elizabeth Peabody’s business,
you familiar with her?

CARRIE (amused): The cute little professor, you mean? The one always looking for
snakes and such? Has she met you?

KYLE (glaring): I want you to look into her. Really look into her if you catch my
drift…

CARRIE: Oh… I see… that’s gonna cost you, though.

KYLE: I don’t care. Do whatever you have to at whatever cost you find necessary. I
want her out of my… ehm, her life.
Watching the scene unfold right in front of her eyes, Cate felt sick. Her hands were shaking and
she turned around to leave. She noticed Rooney standing at the opposite side. Their eyes met, and
Cate was overcome by a tremendous need to go to her, to explain everything right away. Almost
as if reading Cate’s mind, Rooney backed away in terror. She took off without another word to
anyone present. It wasn’t her shooting day anyway.

Her heart beating wildly, Cate followed her all the way to her room door. Rooney had told her to
stay away but she couldn’t. Not now, not after what she’d just learned. She knocked on the door,
and when she got no reply, she pounded on it.

Rooney opened it. She looked furious.

New York, USA, 15 March 2016

“C’mon, Roons, you’ve gotta eat something…” Kate’s voice was laced with genuine concern.
Uninterested, Rooney stared at the plate in front of her. “Please, please, eat something – you’re
wasting away,” her sister pleaded desperately. “I’ve never seen you like this, I can’t see you like
this, baby…” Rooney glanced at Kate seriously. “You don’t have to see me at all. Just get the hell
out of here.” Disgusted, she pushed the plate further away from her.

Rooney had to sit still because her insides were shaking, fluttering constantly. It was as if she had
swallowed a razor blade that kept slicing her innards apart, gutting her in tiny blood soaked
shreds and only remaining immobile maintained the vital functions necessary for her survival.
Some survival…

The numbness slowly setting in, Rooney had no wish to eat anything or see anyone. For two
weeks she had hoped against hope to hear from Cate, to have some sort of an explanation why she
never showed up in the first place. In her dreams Rooney replayed the scenario she wished for –
Cate appearing at her doorstep, apologizing for her absence, overwhelming her with kisses and
promising she would never again disappoint her like that. And every time Rooney accepted her
apology and believed her explanations. They would end up in bed, and she would see Cate as she
had always been for her – beyond lovely, beyond all earthly pleasures, as everything love was
supposed to be and mean.

Then she would wake up Cate’s softness still soothing her inflamed mind and for a second she
would be deliriously happy just like she’d been only two weeks ago. The agony of remembering,
of being flung back to harsh reality after such a vivid dream fell upon her like a darkness made of
metal. A steely silence choking her throat, she’d start her day – a day like any other yet so
irrefutably different from the ones she’d ever known before.

“I’m not leaving. This just won’t do.” Kate sat down next to Rooney, which irritated the hell out
of her. “I love you, Rooney, and I hate to see you like this. I want to help you… please, let me
help you.” Rooney had a sudden tic in the corner of her eye. “No one can help me.” Her reply
was quiet and simple but enough to shut Kate up for now.

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“What part of ‘don’t come here uninvited’ did you not understand?” Rooney almost shouted.
Staring at her, Cate dared to take a step closer. She had no idea what she was doing. Go with your
gut.

"You want to get it on? For old times’ sake, huh?" Rooney pushed Cate away from her but only
against the wall of her room. She grabbed her by the waist and pressed her lips against hers
forcefully. Her mouth felt hard and unrelenting, her sharp teeth like a punishment Cate deserved.
Rooney’s hands were roughing her all over, leaving sparks of anger and bitterness to burn her
skin.

“By all means… let’s get it on,” she hissed tearing Cate’s clothes half way off just to get her hands
between her thighs. “Missed me much?” Rooney grunted shoving her fingers inside Cate in one
merciless thrust biting her neck at the same time. Jolted by Rooney's unexpected brutality, Cate
knew all of it would leave a bruise a lot deeper than just a mark on her skin but she didn’t care
about any of it. “Yes…” she whispered tears stinging in her eyes. Despite her fierce, unforgiving
touch Cate became aroused by the mere scent of her agitated breathing on her chest.

“You’re such a fucking cunt…” Rooney continued pumping her with excessive force. “Fucking
deceitful, no good whore…” she gasped suddenly aware of what she was doing, what Cate felt
like clinging to her wanton cruelty. She wanted to back away yet she couldn’t find the strength to
detach, to throw her out of her room. Instead she put her hand behind Cate’s head and pulled her
into a hungry kiss. Her other hand finding a slower pace, then ceasing its movement altogether,
they remained glued to each other for what seemed like a blind, vacant spot in the space-time
continuum.

“Rooney…” Cate breathed into her mouth lost in the abrupt change in her approach. “Rooney,
Rooney…” she repeated sliding her palms against the breasts she had missed so much. Not
wanting to break contact as if fearing it would be the only thing keeping them together, starting the
flame she’d thought she’d lost forever, Cate pulled Rooney on the bed with her. A throaty moan
escaped Rooney’s mouth as she felt Cate’s naked body brush against her hardened nipples.

The shock of realizing just how much she had missed Cate's skin all over hers, covering it,
exciting it, drawing desire out of its every famished pore spread over her brain like oil. It distorted
everything she had clarified for herself, it stained the image she had so painstakingly build up for
herself over the past year. Rooney had reached a place where she no longer consciously hurt,
where she could operate as well as any fully functional human zombie devouring anyone crossing
her path to fuel her lifeline of hatred and desolation. Now she was being pulled back to life and
the thought of it swept over her like a mad panic.

She wanted to cry out. To scream for help because she was scared out her wits, afraid of what
would happen if she were to give in to Cate’s sultry movements. Rooney opened her mouth but
instead of telling Cate no, the words she managed to form sounded a lot like more, please, harder,
yes – God yes. Her own body was betraying her in its moment of truth. It yielded her to open up,
to accept and to enjoy all and everything until it melted her fractured mind. Breathlessly aware of
Cate entering her, Rooney opened her eyes only to gaze straight into hers. She was rigid with
want overwhelming her, burying her deep inside Cate with no hope of escape.

The moment when Cate finally released Rooney’s pleasure, let it soar high above her anguished
mind, tears flooded her eyes, streamed down her cheeks, the bridge of her nose, her trembling chin
in a never ending, terrifying tidal wave. Impaled by an inner pain too severe to be contained a
moment longer, Rooney was wailing, nearly screaming in her confused aftermath. “Go away…”
she finally whimpered low curling up in fetal position. “Go away… go away… go away…”
Instead she felt Cate’s arms tightening around her, pressing her determinedly against her soft,
gentle body.

“No, I won’t…”

“No, I won’t…”

“No, I won’t…”
“No, I won’t…”
The Awful Truth

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

When Cate opened her eyes, Rooney was already dressed up. It was her relentless stare that had
woken Cate up at this ungodly hour. “I need to be on the set in an hour, and I’m meeting Sarah for
breakfast.” Rooney’s face was expressionless but something in her eyes gave Cate the chills.
Propping herself on her elbows, Cate made a futile attempt to speak before she was rudely
interrupted. “Don’t. Whatever it is, I don’t want to hear it.” Rooney kept her distance.

When Cate made a move to leave the bed, an angry glance froze her in her place. “Don’t you
fucking move,” Rooney said in a menacing tone of voice. “You’re not working today so you’ll
stay put right here till I come back.” She was adamant. “Or you can leave and never talk to me
again. It’s your choice.” Embarrassed, Cate bowed her head. Slowly she laid back on the mattress.
“You don’t go anywhere, and you don’t even touch your phone no matter what – got it?” Rooney
was holding all the cards now. “No phone calls, no text messages, nothing – do you understand?”
After a weighted silence Cate nodded meekly. She knew Rooney meant business, and if this was
the only way to get her to open up, Cate was willing to submit herself to it. Without another word
Rooney picked up her bag and left the room.

Hot tears were stinging in Cate’s eyes when she heard Rooney’s footsteps move further and
further away. Cate had barely slept at all, and her entire body ached of a crippling fatigue. It ached
for another reason as well for they’d been going at it for most of the night Rooney fucking her
every which way and making sure she’d be sore all over. They hadn’t talked at all though Cate
had wanted to. Every time she had opened her mouth to speak Rooney had stopped her
aggressively, and her undeniable aggression had led to yet another frenzied treatment of Cate’s
body and subsequently her mind. At times Rooney had treated her ex-lover as a mere object for
her own selfish gratification.

“Rooney, you do know this has never been just fucking for me?” The words Cate had spoken
only two days before everything had come tumbling down reappeared far too vividly to her as
well as her ex-lover’s reply. “Maybe in the beginning it was but then it changed – we changed.”
It had changed again, Cate knew giving into unquenchable sobs of despair and desolation.

Cincinnati, USA, 18th April 2014

“Morning…” Rooney smiled at Cate who was slowly opening her eyes, still disoriented by the
time and the place at hand. For some unexplained reason she was surprised to see Rooney so close
to her – and so naked. It was as if the sex they’d had during the soft hours of the night following
their Waterloo scene had been a mere dream instead of a reality that only now greeted Cate’s
drowsy mind.

She felt Rooney’s fingers move under the sheet and on her bare skin. The intensity their smooth
tips applied on her electrified and frightened her at the same time. “You okay?” Rooney asked in a
quiet, calming voice. “I want you to be okay…” All of it was suddenly overwhelming, the
probing touch combined with the flashbacks of the night, of the hours just passed in such an
intense proximity Cate was almost embarrassed by the eagerness she had exhibited all through the
night. She averted her eyes bashfully but Rooney forced them to meet hers once more. “You are
magnificent,” she said moving on top of Cate, parting her thighs with her knee. “So lovely, so
irresistible…” Rooney’s face came very close to hers. Her hands cupping Cate’s buttocks she was
suddenly perfectly pressed against her body. Then, just as Cate was getting aroused, she got up on
her knees lifting Cate’s legs tenderly against her sides. Rooney looked gorgeous in the early
morning light, her breasts smooth, pale mounds – the wisp of dark hair below her abdomen moist
with the want she had just awakened in Cate. “Let’s go out for breakfast,” she said gazing
curiously into Cate’s eyes. Rooney’s hands still firmly holding her thighs, Cate was stunned to
hear such a suggestion. Surely they couldn’t leave just yet? She mused surprised by the
inexplicable turn of events.

“You’re kidding me, right…?” Cate murmured drawing her nearer as she willed Rooney to kiss
her. “You get me all hot and bothered, and now you want to go to some greasy diner to eat
pancakes?” Rooney grinned against her lips. “I want you to be okay with everything, I mean we
can talk, get to know each other…” Cate cupped her face with both hands. “You’re very sweet
but I really am okay – and I really, really want you to fuck me right now so that I can fuck you
right back.” Rooney drew a quick breath her smile giving room to another, more determined and
sly expression. “You’re a woman after my own heart, aren’t you…” she complimented
before finding Cate’s left nipple with her wet mouth. The first, sharp shock of inescapable ecstasy
penetrating her like a bolt from the blue, Cate opened her shuddering body for Rooney’s
increasingly greedy pleasure.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

“Let’s roll, everyone – Rooney, Sarah… your turn is coming up next. This is the one taking place
at the eve of the wedding,” Todd clarified making sure the members of his crew found their
exact positions before shooting the scene. Sarah flashed a smile at her director while Rooney
simply nodded trying not to look tired. Not that anyone could really tell she’d gone almost the
entire night without sleep – the make-up artist had done a marvelous job on her and she looked
just as striking as ever.

“You okay, Roons?” Sarah wasn’t so easily fooled. “Sure, I’m just… well, I haven’t been
sleeping too well.” She had to say something to distract her. “Do you have time to grab some
lunch after we’ve finished?” Sarah’s question bothered Rooney but she didn’t want to appear too
evasive. “Okay, sounds good.”

SARAH: So… Cassandra Ophelia, is it?

ROONEY: I’m afraid so. And you are the reporter from that rag..?

SARAH (chuckling): The Awful Truth, yes. Peggy Firestone’s the name.

ROONEY (smirking): Enchantée, I’m sure… what brings you to our neck of the
woods – or do I even dare to ask?

SARAH: Oh, c’mon… it’s the event of the year after all – this place is booming with
the members of the press right now.

ROONEY: But not everyone is representing a paper with such an ambiguous


reputation as yours. What do you hope to gain from the Peabody wedding?

SARAH (outright laughing): The awful truth, of course! [pauses for a moment] I
have to say I can’t get over those names of yours… Cassandra and Ophelia – your
parents must have had a weird sense of humor.

ROONEY (amused): What makes you think that?


SARAH: You know what I’m talking about. You have two epically tragic figures as
your namesakes – the truth teller nobody believed in and the other one drowned both
literally and in her sorrow.

ROONEY: You’re forgetting that both of them also went mad.

SARAH: No, I’m not, my dear… but I’m glad to know you’re well of aware of their
fates.

ROONEY: And why is that, Miss Firestone?

SARAH: I guess what I’m trying to say is that I bet you know the truth and you may
just drown in it if you don’t speak up soon…

ROONEY: Afraid I go mad, is that it?

SARAH (winking at Rooney): I wouldn’t mind witnessing some delicious madness


on your part. It makes good copy, you know.

ROONEY: So your interest in my potential downfall is merely professional?

SARAH: Oh, I wouldn’t say so, Miss DeWitt – I have a soft spot for true love. It
beats the awful truth any day…

“Cut! Brilliant, thank you!” Rubbing his hands together, Todd smiled contentedly. Sarah glanced
at Rooney who had no intention of returning her inquisitive look. Her stomach in knots she now
regretted her decision to join Sarah for lunch.

“What’s up, Roons?” Sarah asked when they were sitting at the table with their lunch trays.
“Nothing much,” Rooney replied brushing her forehead pensively. “You do know that’s a tell?”
Sarah pointed out. “What is?” Rooney looked at her sharply. “Putting your hand on your forehead
– covering your face – while answering me…” Her voice was kind, no doubt about it. “It’s a tell,
it tells me you’re hiding something.” Rooney was suddenly disgusted by everything on her tray.

“She still loves you.” Sarah’s words ambushed Rooney and it took a considerable while for them
to truly sink in, for her to grasp that Sarah had indeed said them out loud. “She only just found out
she’d been deceived to believe that you had no real interest in her, that you had something else
going on the side while you two were together…” Rooney’s face turned pale. “What the fuck are
you talking about?” Sarah reached for her hand but Rooney pulled it away. “Are you fucking
kidding me? Messing with my mind, huh?” Propping her chin on her knuckles, Sarah leaned
forward. “Keep it down, please. I mean no harm, believe me. Quite the contrary.” Her eyes were
sympathetic to the angry grief pouring out of Rooney. “It was an elaborate stunt designed to keep
you two apart – including a lot of emotional blackmail,” she continued earnestly. “She’s been
through the wringer… and it shows.”

Alarmed by what she’d just heard, Rooney felt something undefined shifting uncomfortably inside
her. She was off balance, rattled by the changes taking place in her as they were speaking – the
slight, sneaky changes that seemed to have a secretive mind of their own. Because she couldn’t
keep up with them, couldn’t influence them in any way, she reverted to her tried-and-tested mode
of conduct – hateful contempt. “She’s been through the wringer? OH REALLY?” Hearing her
icy retort, Sarah knotted her brow. “YES, REALLY,” she interrupted emphatically. “Listen,
Rooney, for once in your life listen to me NOW,” Sarah pinned Rooney’s wrists forcibly on the
table. “She fucked up, yes, she did. She should’ve come to you and talked things through, that's
true. But she fucked up. She’s a goddamn human – not some goddess on the pedestal like you
used to think of her!”

The panic Rooney had experienced the night before was again seeping through every pore of her
body. She had trouble breathing, trouble keeping her thoughts intact in any way. Everything
inside her head seemed to catch fire and burn her brain. Rooney tried to focus on her sitting, on
the table and the tray in front of her – on the hatred and the isolation she’d finally taken solace in
over the past year. The first six months of their separation had felt like an agonizingly slow walk
on hot coals, every step a searing burn on her raw skin. Then a dead calm had set upon her, a
twisted imitation of serenity that had allowed her to resume her acting in such a masterful precision
she’d amazed everyone who’d come in contact with her. Now, not wanting to hear what Sarah
had to say but hearing it nevertheless, Rooney was not only losing her composure, she was losing
the grip of the reality she’d carefully constructed to survive. When she was already certain she
couldn’t hear another word, Sarah blurted out the one thing she dreaded the most.

“And I know you love her too.” Disoriented, Rooney got up her feet all wobbly. Her face ashen,
she looked like she’d pass out on the spot. “Roons… you okay?” Sarah’s voice hovered around
her like a fickle breeze. “Please, Rooney, you’re scaring me.” She took Rooney’s hand and
escorted her out of the cafeteria area.

New York, USA, 2 months before the start of the shoot

“I saw her yesterday at the Geffen Hall.” Kate wasn’t at all sure if it was a good idea to mention
her encounter with Cate to her sister. “And who is her?” Rooney asked unpacking her bags. “Cate
Blanchett.” Seeing her sister stiffen at the mere mention of Cate’s name, Kate grew restless. “I
see.” She resumed taking her clothes out of the suitcase.

“Are you sure it’s a good idea to do this film with Todd and… her?” Kate wished Rooney would
turn around and face her. “You’ve really only just gotten back on your feet, and I’d hate to see
you get more hurt by this… this…” Kate got her wish – Rooney took a stern look at her. “This
what? You think I can’t handle being in the same film with her anymore, is that what you’re
saying?” Rooney pulled out a chair and sat down. “Kate… I know you mean well but you needn’t
worry so much all the time,” she was pleased to hear her own voice so emotionless and controlled.
“I am a professional and her being there won’t affect my equilibrium one way or another.”
Rooney even attempted to smile at Kate before turning again to sort her stuff.

“Did you talk to her… how was she?” Rooney had to know. “Just briefly... she asked about –
well, about you.” Again Kate noticed the effect her words had on Rooney. “Oh yeah?” Her sister
sounded hoarse at first. “What did you tell her?” Kate regretted mentioning anything about it at all
to her. “I told her you’re fine, it is the truth, isn’t it?” She left the other part unsaid knowing
Rooney would’ve been furious with her had she known about the über bitch quip. “It is.” They
dropped the subject.

Philadelphia, USA, June 2017

Sarah offered Rooney a tumbler of brandy once they’d retreated to the safety of Sarah’s room.
“Take a deep breath and have a sip,” she urged her visibly shaken friend. “It’ll do you good.”
Rooney accepted the glass willingly. Burning her mouth and stomach, the brandy brought color
back to her cheeks. “Have you seen her?” Sarah’s question made Rooney think of Cate lying on
the bed of her room. “No,” she lied. The image of her one time lover as she had left her behind
crowded her senses.

“You should… she’s miserable without you.” Rooney examined the cuts of the tumbler distorting
the surface of the brown, fortifying liquor. “What do you know about us?” she challenged her
sharply. “What gives you the idea she ever loved me in the first place?” A smile crept on Sarah’s
face. “You yourself told me, don’t you remember? She’d confessed her true feelings for you right
before the Golden Globes.” Rooney remembered it very well but she’d also had time to rethink
Cate’s heartfelt admission. “It was a line from the bloody novel, for God’s sake!” she almost
yelled. “I expressed my love for her and she said don’t you know I love you,” Rooney spat bitterly.
“She was in full Carol Aird mode, nothing more!” It took all her strength to acknowledge the fear
that had gnawed at her for far too long.

Sarah tasted her drink before saying anything at all. “You know better than that, Roons. I saw you
guys, I saw the way you looked at each other,” she commented calmly. “It was not just some
Therese and Carol thing you had going on though it probably did add its flavor to your
connection.”

Right after Sarah had said her piece they heard a knock on the door. It was Todd. “Hey… have
you by any chance heard of Cate?” he inquired looking puzzled. “I’ve been trying to reach her all
day long but she’s not picking up her phone.” Surprised, Sarah shook her head. “No, not since
yesterday – but today’s her day off, isn’t it?” Todd nodded sheepishly. “It is. I just needed to run a
few things through with her but I guess it’ll have to wait.” He apologized for the interruption and
returned to the set. She’s still in my room, occurred to Rooney as if it were a vision from another
world.

“Where is she, Rooney?” Fuck, why does she have to read me as if I’m an open book? Rooney
averted her eyes. “What’s going on?” Sarah demanded to know. “I… I have to go,” she
stammered her reply. “I bet you do,” Sarah confirmed in not too kind a voice. “Make it good,
Roons, make it good.”

Her hotel room was dark when she entered it. She’s not here anymore, Rooney mused crushed by
an abrupt feeling of loss all over again. Then, hearing a muffled sound, a movement, her hope was
renewed. “Cate..?” A blonde shadow drew a crumpled sheet to cover her naked body. She
appeared fragile and forlorn, a sight too heartbreaking for Rooney to bear at the moment.

Cate had been crying, she could tell, and when Rooney went to her, she started crying once more
– the quiet tears of shame and remorse too overwhelming to be contained in any way. Rooney
wrapped her arms around Cate and cradled her in her arms. “Have you eaten anything?” she
whispered in her ear. Cate shook her head. “Me neither.” When Rooney made a move towards the
phone Cate’s grip on her arm tightened. It confused Rooney but more than that it stirred something
unexpected in her – a sensation that spread over her numb body like a tiniest shot of warm liquid
injected inside her weary veins.
Goddamn Humans

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

The night was quiet its gentle, soothing wings spread over Cate and Rooney as they lay on the
cool sheets. If Cate had wanted to speak the night before she made no attempt now. The silence
felt good, even necessary, and it made no demands for either of them for the time being. She was
only aware of Rooney, of her hand stroking her blonde hair absentmindedly or pulling her closer
against her slim body. Cate knew every inch of its every bend and curve and feeling it right next
to her back was strangely enough. For now.

Before laying down to sleep Rooney had ordered room service and they’d eaten their French fries
and club sandwiches without a single word exchanged. She’s such a kid about food, Cate
remembered when the waiter had arrived with the late night snack. The poor guy had to go back
and fetch Rooney some mayo to go with her fries – a taste she’d developed while on a
promotional tour in Europe a few years earlier.

London, United Kingdom, October 2015

“You took the last one!” Rooney exclaimed, “I don’t fucking believe it – you took the last one,
and you took it from my plate!” Cate was giggling unabashedly. “What can I say… I was
hungry.” Rooney tried very hard not to give in to the laughter bubbling inside her. “They were
my fries and you chose not to have any.” The corners of her mouth were curling up against her
will. “Give it back!” she ordered Cate. “I. Want. It. Back. Now.” Laughing, Cate took a couple of
steps backwards. “I’m so not giving anything to you… dream on, baby!” She raised her hands to
shield her body from Rooney who was approaching her fast. “Besides I just ate it. See,
nothing…” she chuckled opening her mouth.

“I want the taste of it…” Rooney said forcing herself gently on Cate’s lips. “I’m sure I can still
taste it in your mouth,” she whispered keenly. “I know you can,” Cate murmured back her
breathing getting hitched already. “Please, baby… taste me.” Rooney released Cate for just a
quick second to let her see how perfectly transformed she already was by her eager plea. It was
something Cate could never get enough of – the look on Rooney’s face when she wanted her,
when she was dying to fuck her like it was the only thing that meant anything at all. No matter
where they were – giving interviews, attending luncheons, on the red carpet, the moment Cate
noticed Rooney eyeing her voraciously she was instantly ready for her. It boggled Cate’s mind, it
made no sense to her but then again nothing did when it came to Rooney.

“Spread for me, babe…” Rooney groaned wanting to have her on the table. Empty plates and
soda cans fell off as Cate lifted herself on it. An increasingly wet spot protruding against the
constricting fabric of her panties made Rooney swallow hard. She wasted no time pulling them
off, finding Cate so peaked and swollen but it was the look on her breathless face, the desperate,
darkened need in her blue eyes that finished Rooney off. Pulling her legs wider apart she started
licking her slit hungrily as if she’d gone weeks without even seeing Cate let alone touching her.

Rooney fucked Cate on the table right before the screening of Carol at the BFI London Film
Festival. It wasn’t the first time or the last time during their trip to England but it felt extra special
to both of them. When Cate was on the verge of coming, their eyes locked for that gorgeous,
crucial second and it intensified her orgasm even more. She gripped Rooney’s free hand when it
overtook her and the shudder Cate was feeling seemed to vibrate between them longer than ever
before.
Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

They didn’t have sex that night. Cate couldn’t decide if it was a good thing or a bad one. She’d
been awake for a while already when she felt Rooney moving restlessly against her. Cate dreaded
the moment when they’d have to get up and resume their work. She was in no mood for filming,
in no mood for anything other than what was happening right now. Yet she didn’t even know
what it was she needed to hold on to. It carried no obvious meaning, it didn’t promise anything.
For the past ten hours they’d been floating in arrested time, in sensory deprivation of reality. This
room could contain them only for a fleeting moment, Cate understood, but once they’d leave its
cocoon they would have to deal with all the repercussions imaginable themselves included. Cate
didn’t have to turn around to know that Rooney was wide awake now. She wasn’t touching her
but she wasn’t pulling away either. There is comfort to be had in it, Cate consoled herself.

“You can talk now,” Rooney muttered, “If you have something to say.” Cate did but when she
tried to reach the fancy phrases she’d been forming up till now, she found them empty of meaning.
“I’m so sorry,” Cate uttered instead, “I did a terrible thing to you.” She turned to face her. “You
only realized it now?” Rooney commented with apparent bitterness. “Yes. The day before
yesterday.” Rooney sat up pulling a sheet to cover her breasts. “All this time and it never occurred
to you that you were being a total bitch…” It wasn’t a question, just a sad realization she had to
get off her chest.

“Rooney, I need to explain a few things…” Cate started. “Sarah already mentioned something
about it,” she interrupted. “But I can’t for the life of me understand why you didn’t talk to me…”
Cracking, Rooney’s voice drifted off. “I’ve made huge mistakes in my life but none as big as this
one,” Cate confessed candidly. “And I know what I did to you was unforgivable...” Rooney
glanced at her vehemently. “Don’t tell me what your deed meant to me!” she snapped. “You were
never my entire life… I… I…,” suddenly frustrated, Rooney shut her mouth momentarily. “I’ve
made a life for myself, and I have lived it,” she lied. Rooney didn’t dare to look at Cate who
shrank from what she had said out loud.

“What do you want from me? Why do you keep pestering me by showing up at my door?”
Everything seemed to be slipping out of Cate’s reach but she could at least answer her questions
as truthfully as she could. For all she knew this might be the last time for any such honesty. “I
can’t keep away, Rooney, not anymore…” Cate drew a deep breath. “Even if I hadn’t found out
the truth I doubt if I’d been able to stay away,” she continued, “because nothing has changed,
nothing in me, that is…” The simple fact and what it implied were enough to crush her but she
tried to keep it together. “My marriage didn’t end because of you, Rooney, it drowned in shallow
waters years ago,” Cate said realizing for the first time that it had indeed happened so. It had taken
time for her to accept it, and now that she finally acknowledged her own feelings for Rooney, it
was too late. Send in the clowns… “I love you Rooney, I’ve loved you since that perfect day in
Cannes… I know it although it may very well be the only thing I know.”

Cannes, France / New York, USA, May 2015

“Darling, you won!!” Cate’s excited voice boomed over one continent to another. “Are you
fucking kidding me???” Rooney shouted unable to contain her excitement. “You won, Roo, you
fucking won and you deserve it – you and your goddamn gorgeous Therese Belivet!” Cate was
beside herself with joy. She’d already won her share of awards for pretty much everything she’d
done so far Oscars included so she knew how very important this was for Rooney. “You are the
queen of Cannes, Roo, and I adore you…” Cate was out of breath. “Oh my fucking god… why
am I not there…” Rooney cried out, “I so want to be there… gaawd…”
Cate was sorry Rooney had had to leave early and wasn’t present for the awards’ ceremony. “I’ll
be accepting the award with Todd on your behalf, darling,” Cate said, “I just wish…” Rooney
grew very alert. “Yes, Cate?” The line went silent for a moment. “I just can’t stand you being so
far away …” Cate’s voice sounded desperate. “Babe, listen to me – I’ll see you here the day after
tomorrow, okay? It’s only 48 hours, even less for you because you’re six hours ahead.” She
couldn’t wait to be with her any less than Cate did. “Yeah, you’re right… I’m being foolish.”
Rooney frowned at her conclusion. “You’re not foolish at all. When you get here, we’ll celebrate,
okay?” She could almost hear Cate nodding at the other end of the line. “You’re nodding, aren’t
you..? You can’t nod during a phone conversation, silly!” Rooney laughed. “You know me so
well, darling…” Cate chuckled happily.

New York, USA, June 2015

Rooney folded the paper away as Cate came in and took her seat across the table. “Hey…” She
quirked her eyebrow just a little. “I’ve missed you…” Rooney smiled back but there was
something awkward about it. “Have you ordered already?” Cate asked glancing around to see if
there was a waiter around. “Is something the matter?” Only now she noticed the weird look on
Rooney’s face. “Been reading the paper here…” she replied pushing it towards Cate. “It’s your
correction for the Variety piece,” Rooney added dryly.

“Well, what else was I supposed to do?” Cate sounded defensive. “I’ve been bombarded with all
kinds of questions for the past week, and it’s really distracting attention from Carol itself.”
Rooney understood her position but she was still peeved. “Then why did you have to talk to
Variety about it in the first place?” she demanded to know. “Because… because… they asked me
for crying out loud, and it caught me off guard!” Cate’s answer was unnecessarily brusque.
“Fine.”

Cate looked distressed. “Roo… c’mon, are you taking this personally? Do you think I’m
somehow ashamed of what has happened between us?” Rooney pouted her lips. “The thought did
occur to me.” She was upset and she couldn’t hide it anymore. “My sexuality is nobody’s business
but mine,” Cate snapped at her, “and it really shouldn’t even be of relevance what my persuasion
is!” Rooney was getting really angry now. “Funny you should say that because you’ve just made
damn sure everyone knows you’re straight as an arrow!” Feeling helpless, Cate started to say
something but didn’t. She hated to admit that Rooney did in fact have a point – the point she’d
have to face eventually.

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Hey Roons! What’s up? Haven’t seen you for a while.” Carrie caught up with Rooney as she
was on her way to the set. “Not much… how about you?” Her mind still racing after having heard
what Cate had said, she had no wish to discuss her current state of mind with anyone. “I’m pretty
good. Looking forward to our scene,” Carrie grinned linking her arm with Rooney’s. “Seen Cate?
I heard she went missing yesterday.” Rooney shrugged her shoulders. “Nope.” Carrie wasn’t put
off by her curt reply. “She’s got quite airs that woman,” she chuckled, “the way she treated you
when we first got together… but I guess that’s what happens if you let your success get to your
head.” I really don’t need to listen to this, Rooney thought walking faster. “Wait up – what’s the
hurry? It’s not like they’re gonna start without us,” Carrie quipped picking up her pace. “Anyway,
I’m so glad you got rid of her, Roons. You deserve so much more… someone who really
appreciates you as the gorgeous person you truly are…”

What the fuck is she talking about? Rooney was growing more impatient every second. “Rooney,
darling,” Carrie purred, “you have such magnificence… you’re going to be a huge star after this
film, make no mistake about it, and you need to be appreciated, adored, you know…” Carrie was
getting uncomfortably close. Adored? The mere idea disturbed Rooney incessantly. Who wants to
be adored anyway? she mused suddenly remembering Sarah’s words from yesterday. “She’s a
goddamn human – not some goddess on a pedestal like you used to think of her!” Not listening to
Carrie’s endless blabbering anymore, Rooney thought of Cate. Did I put her on a pedestal? Did I
not see her as the person she really is? Was I in love with her or with some fantasy I made her out
to be..?

CARRIE (flirting): Why such a sad face, Miss DeWitt? I hate to see you looking so
glum…

ROONEY (curtly): This is my face, Miss Hussey, get used to it.

CARRIE: I’d love to get used to it… but I’d definitely need to see more of it.

ROONEY: You would, now wouldn’t you? I doubt if you’d find it very interesting,
it is pretty standard after all.

CARRIE: I can only agree with half of what you’re saying – it is pretty, indeed. I’d
even say very attractive.

ROONEY: You’re a live one, aren’t you, Miss Hussey?

CARRIE: Oh, Miss DeWitt – you have no idea just how alive I can be… but I could
give you a sneak preview any time – as in you sneaking in to see me some time?

ROONEY: It’s a tempting offer, but I’m not one to sneak around – or in, for that
matter.

CARRIE: But I think you are, dear Professor… you just haven’t found the right
opening yet, that’s all…

“Cut and print!” Todd yelled grinning. “Lovely, just lovely… you have a really good chemistry
going on.” Carrie glanced at Rooney mischievously. “I certainly think so.” Rooney turned around
to leave her cheeks burning up. The discomfort she was feeling was ridiculous although she
couldn’t quite understand why she was getting so upset about Carrie. She was only flirting, and
Rooney, for one, knew it didn’t really mean anything. When she left the set, something was
nevertheless choking her – a suppressed emotion or an uneasy realization Rooney wasn’t ready to
mull over just yet.
Pandora's Box

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“How’s Edith, how are the boys?” Cate wanted to talk with her children but Andrew made no
attempt to include them in their conversation. She was getting not only impatient but also angry
although her husband wasn’t saying anything to be upset about. In fact he was being exceptionally
thoughtful going out of his way to make sure everything was as it should be on location. “You
don’t need to worry about a thing, sweetheart, I’ve got everything under control,” Andrew assured
her. “How’s work? Everything running smoothly with J-Law?” Only now Cate realized Andrew
hadn’t heard about the change in the casting. How could he, she realized, he wasn’t one of the
producers this time.

“Jennifer had to pull out at the last minute so we had to go ahead with a replacement,” Cate said
matter-of-factly. “Really? How unfortunate… I trust Todd and Phyllis had a good name up on
their sleeve?” Andrew’s voice was curious. “I would say so – Rooney Mara.” For a moment Cate
thought the line had gone dead. After a while she heard Andrew draw a fierce breath. “So the
stars of Carol are united once again, huh?” he finally managed to say. “All those Carol fanatics
will soon be having a field day, I’m sure,” Andrew continued bitterly. “All the trouble we went
through to maintain your reputation as impeccable as possible… all of it shot to hell.” He let out a
desperate sigh.

“You could’ve said no, you know? This was a major change and certainly grounds for you to call
it off,” he pointed out emphatically. “Well, maybe I didn’t want to call it off,” Cate snapped at
him. “Maybe I was very happy to see her after all this time… and set the record straight.” She
paused to think through her next move knowing she’d said too much already. “I know what you
did.” Cate hated having this conversation over the phone but she couldn’t keep the newfound
knowledge a secret anymore. “I know all about it, and I guess I can even understand why you did
it but it’s despicable all the same.” The sordidness of it all choked Cate’s throat and she had to
fight back her tears.

“Cate… what I did, I did out of my love for you,” Andrew explained sounding miserable.
“Love?” Cate interrupted suddenly. “What kind of love forges photographs and hands out
ultimatums?“ she questioned. “The desperate kind… and I didn’t want you to throw everything
away for just an on-set romance that would’ve ended anyway…” He needed her to understand.
“You knew nothing about it, nothing ! And you had no right to trick me like that. You should’ve
trusted me to make up my own mind, draw my own conclusions no matter what they would’ve
turned out to be,” Cate stressed forcefully. “I know…” The voice at the other end of the line
sounded listless and defeated. “I just… I’m so sorry.”

Everyone’s sorry, and no one’s happy. Cate wanted to be furiously mad and place blame but she
knew her husband well – better than anyone in the whole wide world – and she knew Andrew
was ashamed of what he had done. Most likely it had been eating him all this time. It wasn’t like
him to be that way, to deceive and distort the truth for she had plenty of evidence of him being one
of the good guys. So he’d made a misstep himself as well, and Cate had guessed it all too easily,
but they’d never talked about his short affair. He had, however, tried to make up for it. Cate had
eventually forgiven him, maybe because she knew in her heart that a mistake like that was never a
root of any evil – only a symptom of a bigger problem they should’ve addressed ages ago.

“What are you going to do?” Andrew asked already fearing her answer. “The damage is already
done – in more ways than one,” Cate replied gravely, “but our lives can’t go on the same way as
before.” She thought of Rooney sitting in a café waiting in vain, and she realized her own waiting
in the darkness of the hotel room couldn’t hold a candle to what she must have felt eighteen
months earlier. I broke her heart.

“Don’t ask me what it means because I really don’t know yet… what I do know is that we, you
and me, need to sit down and talk everything through, leave no stone unturned. If there is
something to be salvaged from this mess, we’ll figure it out then.” Andrew was quiet for a long
time before he found the only words one could say in a moment like this. “Yes, of course. I’m
here whenever you’re ready.”

Sydney, Australia, September 2016

“A lot of the relationship between Carol and Therese was sort of mirroring real life in that I was
in awe of her…” Cate picked up a familiar voice emanating from Ignatius’ room. “…and she is
this magnetic creature...” She found him watching a rerun of one of the interviews Rooney had
done on her own. Seeing her talking to a journalist, Cate’s heart skipped a beat. “So when I was
looking at her as Therese I really felt that way in real life as well…” Cate was transfixed by the
sudden encounter even if only through a screen.

“I remember her, Mom,” Ignatius exclaimed enthusiastically, “I liked her very much.” Cate
attempted to smile at his excitement. “She liked you too, sweet pea”, she said calmly. “Really?
She did?” Cate’s sight lingered on Rooney who was nodding to the interviewer flashing her
dimples every so often. “I think she’s awfully pretty…” The boy’s voice sounded dreamy, almost
smitten. “Everyone loves her. How can you not love her? She's just... incredible,” Rooney
confessed openly. The conversation must have been taped only weeks before Cate’s decision to
break it all off without a word of goodbye. How come I haven’t seen this? Cate mused astonished
by her touching candor.

“She thinks you’re the best, Mom,” Ignatius beamed at her, “and she’s right!” Cate felt a twinge of
conscience hearing her son’s words. I should’ve faced her, let her know how shattered I was.

New York, USA, 10 October 2015

“Your boys are really wonderful,” Rooney said the day after their impromptu meeting on the
street. “You’ve been a great mother.” She leaned over to place a kiss on her shoulder. Feeling her
light touch, Cate melted into a radiant smile. “As good a mother as one can be under the
circumstances…” she commented wishing Rooney would keep on kissing her. Right now she
seemed more interested in talking. “I do like kids, you know…” Rooney’s words hung suspended
in air like a question she didn’t dare to ask. “And everything that’s important for you will always
be important for me as well…” She wrapped her arms around Cate who was only too happy to act
if she didn’t get what she meant to say. “I could be their friend – or whatever...”

Cate found it very difficult to say anything at all. On the one hand she was thrilled to hear Rooney
acknowledge her children, to accept them as an undeniable fact of her life. On the other, she felt
they were heading towards something that resembled a frighteningly narrow road with all the real
life’s obstacles becoming way too tangible to be tackled at all. Cate was surrounded by the fast
approaching, undeniable reality, conflicted by both her commitment to her family and her budding
love for Rooney. Is it too late already? She asked herself not knowing what she was exactly
referring to. Too late to start anew or too late to go back to how things used to be?

Everything had once been so simple, so straightforward – love, choices, the way she had looked at
the person next to her in bed. Now Cate saw it all in Rooney’s eyes, the uncompromising certainty
of every moment they shared. She wanted to have it as well, to hold onto it and never doubt it for
a second, but how could one trust an emotion likely to be eroded in time any way? How could a
mere feeling compare to what she had already? This is not what I signed up for. Yet it seemed like
the only flickering light in the darkness of the life she had built but found severely lacking.

“Make love to me,” Cate said distracting Rooney from the topic she herself couldn’t deal with.
She pulled Rooney on top of her opening her shirt all the way down as an enticing invitation.
“Make it slow, make it perfect.” Cate didn’t want to see the imminent crossing in the narrowing
path they’d embarked upon. She not only averted her eyes from what already loomed in the
horizon, she needed to close them altogether.

“Scene 56, take 1…” The assistant director gave the orders while Todd shared his last minute
observations with Ed Lachman. Ready for their cruise ship encounter, Cate and Rooney avoided
each other’s gaze deliberately.

CATE: Oh my… you landed flat on your face and right in front of me!

ROONEY (getting back on her feet): It’s not as if I did it all on my own, you tripped
me!

CATE: I did no such thing! My foot may have stuck out but believe me, it was by no
means intentional…

ROONEY (begrudgingly): Funny it should stick out the very moment I was passing
by…

CATE: Listen, mister, I don’t appreciate your tone of voice at all but I’m willing to
forgive you for a cocktail or two.

ROONEY: How very gracious of you, Miss Bait n Tackle… especially since you’re
the one doing the tackling here... and it’s miss, not mister.

CATE (sweetly): But of course it is… Miss..? Oh, please tell me you have an
exciting name! Something a simple girl like me can gush over.

ROONEY: It’s Dewitt, C.O. Dewitt… hope it’s exciting enough though I can hardly
think of you as a simpleton, Miss..?

CATE: Driftwood – Vera Driftwood, pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss C.O.
DeWitt… may we become such good friends that you’ll eventually tell me your first
names as well! [turns attention to a waiter standing nearby] Will you be an absolute
darling and bring us two White Ladies, please? Thank you ever so…

ROONEY: So, Miss Driftwood, what made you drift aboard this cruiser?

CATE: Oh, I’m coming from South America and returning home. I was in Rio for
the carnival and now I’m looking for some peace and quiet back at the ranch.

ROONEY: I bet it’s a carnival wherever you stick your foot at. And what a lovely,
shapely foot it is…

CATE: Why Miss DeWitt, there are countries where you could get arrested for such
a remark. Men have been sued for less.

ROONEY: Lucky for me I’m not a man then.

CATE: Lucky indeed ‘cause I have absolutely no use for them. But for a cunning
woman I can always make an exception…

ROONEY: Always or just this once? I’ve been away for a long time and I find it
quite overwhelming to run into someone like you the first moment I meet humans
after months of complete solitude.

CATE (pulls a deck of cards out of her clutch): Let’s see if it’s in the cards… (places
first three on the table) the queen of hearts, the queen of diamonds and a joker…

ROONEY: What do they tell you? Should I be worried?

CATE: Oh yes, definitely – when two majestic figures like these dames here meet,
something’s bound to happen.

ROONEY: And what does the joker stand for?

CATE: Destiny, or the inevitable – the fickle and the fantastic, everything that defies
logic and reason… after all, do we ever really rely on reason when we’re attracted to
someone? I don’t think so.

ROONEY: Why do I feel this last leg of my journey back home is also the first
towards something unknown and so very wonderful?

CATE: Aren’t you full of clever puns, Miss DeWitt! I believe you have literally
stumbled upon something… (picks up one more card and puts it on the table – the ace
of hearts) neither of us can resist.

“Cut!” Cate and Rooney kept looking at each other for a long while after they’d finished. The
space between them was filling up with futile attempts to ask and answer – what and how, neither
one knew since all the questions desperate to take flight were incomplete at best.

Both of them understood how each demand to know and each effort to explain would finally lead
them to open the Pandora’s box of their past history, of what it had meant to be together. Yet
neither remembered the basic truth of Pandora and her legendary jar of evils spreading out of it.

Once Pandora closed her box again one thing was still left inside – hope.
White Queen
Chapter Notes

An interlude, a musing on a theme before moving further...

London, United Kingdom, October 2015

“People keep asking me about this,” Rooney said at Carol’s London press conference. “My
opinion is that chemistry isn’t something you can create, it’s very much the same way in real life –
you either have chemistry with someone or you don’t.” She didn’t mind talking about it although
she’d been bombarded with the very question over and over again. To talk about her feelings for
Cate even in this small, safe way felt good, almost vital and most of all – it filled her with warmth
that was evident in every news footage, every photo taken in the numerous press junkets
for Carol.

“I felt lucky in that it was easy for me to feel chemistry towards Cate not only because
she’s…” Rooney had to stop for a second, “…Cate but because my character spent much of the
film just sort of in awe of this woman and enamored with her and that was very easy for me to
embody.” Very easy indeed.

Bedford, USA, 1998

“I got the popcorn and the Milk Duds… what are you waiting for, sweetie?” It wasn’t the first
time Kathleen Mara had to wait for her daughter to snap out of her ill-timed reverie. “Come on,
Tricia, the movie’s about to start,” she hurried her absentminded offspring, “I’m sure you don’t
want to miss the beginning any more than I do…”

They took their seats at the local cinema the 13-year-old Patricia Rooney Mara was already very
familiar with. The movie they were about to see was a period piece, something neither one of
them really knew too much about, directed by a relatively unknown Indian director, Shekhar
Kapur. “Elizabeth,” her mother had informed her the day before, “…it tells the story of Queen
Elizabeth I of England…” She had her mind set on seeing it and she wanted company.

“Who’s in it?” Her daughter had asked hoping to catch a familiar name. “Well, Geoffrey Rush for
one – you remember him from Shine ?” Kathleen Mara started, “And Joseph Fiennes, Richard
Attenborough, John Gielgud even…” None of the names could play the title character, though.
“But who’s playing the queen?” Patricia inquired impatiently. “It’s some Australian actress… oh
god, I can’t remember her name… Blake something, maybe..?”

ENGLAND 1554… Young Patricia sat quietly in the dark eating her popcorn. HENRY VIII IS
DEAD… On film the battle between Catholics and Protestants wages on.

“Princess Elizabeth! Princess Elizabeth!”


A radiant, young redhead appeared on the screen…

“ When I am Queen, I promise to act as my conscience dictates…”

The hand reaching for the bucket of popcorn never found its target. Suddenly it all tasted flat
and distracting. She stared at the screen her mouth half open.

--

Sir Robert: When you are Queen...

Elizabeth: I am not... I am not Queen yet.

Sir Robert: You will be… Elizabeth, Queen of England.

A court to worship you.

A country to obey you.

Poems written celebrating your beauty.

---

Elizabeth I: I have rid England of her enemies.

What do I do now?

Am I to be made of stone?

Must I be touched by nothing?

--

HER REIGN HAS BEEN CALLED THE GOLDEN AGE…

Oh, my God, who is that woman..?

Cincinnati, USA, April 2014

“Have I ever told you I’ve been keeping my eye on you ever since I was 13?” Rooney’s question
couldn’t have surprised Cate more than it did. “What the hell are you talking about?” Cate asked
while getting ready for bed. Her eyes followed Rooney as she was undressing herself on the other
side of the bed. “It’s true… you’ve been my idol for almost twenty years now,” the brunette
grinned discarding the last piece of her underwear on the floor. “You do know that it sounds kind
of fucked up, don’t you?” Cate commented hoping Rooney was still more or less kidding.

“Not necessarily… I’ve done pretty well for myself, don’t you think?” she replied amused by
Cate’s concern. “I’ve been very consistent in my pursuits – very goal-oriented…” Rooney flashed
a wicked smile. “Fuck you, Mara…” Cate snapped back at her. “You wish!” Rooney giggled
sliding between the sheets and covering herself prudishly. “I know you want to but I’m not at all
sure that you’re going to,” she stated pretending to have been put off by her crude remark.

Cate flung her robe away and sat on top of Rooney her legs astride. “No, Roo…” she said her
voice dangerously seductive, “I think it is you who want to… more than anything… since you are
evidently so very devoted to me…” She rolled over to her side of the bed and turned off her light.
“What the fuck??” Leaning over her, Rooney switched it back on. She looked both puzzled and
hurt.

“Listen, Rooney, if you think what you just told me is somehow sexy or fun for me to hear – “
inexplicably frustrated, Cate paused for a moment, “Well, it’s not. I’m not some movie star you are
fucking between the shoots – get it?” She was getting angry and it surprised even herself. “This is
me – Cate – a woman you met while working on the same project and felt attracted to, that’s all.”
Rooney stared at her in disbelief. “You are reading way too much into what I just said…” she
started. “I was joking, for crying out loud! It was a joke!” she claimed defensively. “Was it? Was
it really?” Cate questioned sharply, “If it was, then let me tell you that I don’t particularly care for
the kind of joking you seem to prefer!” She switched the light off again. Rooney remained silent
for a while trying to figure out what to say. Cate’s reaction had taken her completely by surprise.
“I know who you are…” she started cautiously, “and I’m not here because of some adolescent
fantasy if that’s what you’re thinking right now.” She didn’t get any reply.

“Come on, Cate, don’t be this way…” she murmured coming very close. “I see you, I hear you, I
want you as you are, baby…” Cate moved uncomfortably but not entirely unresponsively against
her. “I want you, baby, so much…” Rooney continued moving her hand between her thighs.
“Please, baby, let me make love to you.” Feeling Cate’s wetness on her fingers sent a flash of heat
through her groin. Hearing her suppressed yet unmistakable, lustful whimper, she started rubbing
her slit slowly but determinedly. “That’s right, baby, let me in… you feel so good I can hardly
stand it…”

London, United Kingdom, October 2015

“There are a lot of problems facing the women in this film – how did you manage to pull it all
through so magnificently?” was asked at one point in the Carol press conference. “For one thing,
the plot made it effortless for us to be believable in front of the camera,” Cate pointed out, “it is the
1950s and we are coming up against so much as we start to realize we want to be together.” She
glanced at Rooney without even noticing she was doing so.

“Both characters are quite isolated," Cate explained. "Not only because their feelings for one
another set them apart from the worlds they inhabit but the gap in their ages.” She smiled
somewhat self-deprecatingly. “They go through a lot of processing these volcanic feelings
independent of one another, so frankly it was a relief to do the scenes with Rooney…” she added.
“And finally, we get to be together."

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

ROONEY: I like your ranch.


CATE: Excuse me, but do I know you?

ROONEY: I beg your pardon..? It’s me C.O. DeWitt!

CATE: I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure…

ROONEY: What is this?!? I know it’s been almost two weeks but it’s ME… we met
on the ship. No, let me rephrase it – we MET on the ship, dear Vera.

CATE: Vera? You must be mistaken. My name is Elizabeth Peabody and I haven’t
been on any ship for nearly two years now.

ROONEY: Mistaken? I don’t think so. I’d recognize you in a crowd of millions. And
I’m sure you haven’t forgotten me either.

CATE: What did you say your name was again..? Devere?

ROONEY: DeWitt! Come on, Vera, quit playing games – you had me at the card
trick already…

CATE: I have no idea who this Vera is you keep referring to and I most certainly do
not play with cards or anything for that matter… Will you please refrain from calling
me by that ghastly name...

ROONEY: I see… and I thought we had something special going on – or at least


heading towards a very promising direction.

CATE: You must mistake me for someone you cared very deeply about?

ROONEY: Yes, I suppose so. How very foolish of me to fall for a card shark and a
fraud…

CATE: Oh… did you love her very much?

ROONEY: I fell madly for her thinking she’d be the one. My bad, I can see it now.

CATE: There are a plenty of other fish in the sea, Miss DeWitt. Don’t be
discouraged, my friend.

ROONEY: Fish? Once you fall for a great white shark, you’d be surprised to know
how very difficult it is to get excited with the minnows swarming around…

CATE: Aren’t those the notorious man eaters?

ROONEY: Contrary to popular belief they’re not. They may attack occasionally but
it’s not the humans they seek to devour. However, it is the first bite that brings about
fatalities – as in my case, obviously…

“Cut!” Todd looked pensive. “There’s something missing here…” He turned to Phyllis who didn’t
look too happy either. “A bit too talkative… rambling almost?” she offered as explanation,
“should we use the lines the bad aren’t nearly as bad you may think nor the good nearly as good
as they appear..? ”Yes, I think we definitely should,” Todd mused, “we’ll have to shoot this again
after some rewrites… but guys – Cate, Rooney, great job nevertheless…”

As Rooney was gathering her things, Cate remained standing by the door. They were very aware
of each other, and it made them both exceedingly tense. On her way out Rooney looked up at
Cate and stopped to face her stare. I can’t avoid this forever. I don’t want to avoid this.
“Rooney…” Cate cleared her throat. “I was wondering if we could have dinner tonight… just a
bite to eat – that is if you don’t have anything else planned?” Can anything good come out of this?
Why shouldn’t I just turn her down? “I guess so…” Rooney heard herself reply. “Great. Would
eight be okay with you?” Rooney nodded self-consciously. “I’ll see you then.”

Cincinnati, USA, April 2014

“Cate, I’d like you to meet my sister Kate. Kate, meet Cate…” Rooney chuckled introducing the
important women of her life to one another. “Cate – Kate, Kate – Cate…” she laughed amused by
her own joke, “I could go on for the rest of the night just for the fun of it!” Kate Mara shot a
disheartening glance at her little sister. “I think we got it, Roons… give it a rest, will ya.” Cate
grinned at the sisters heckling each other. “I believe they are waiting for us to take our seats at the
table – shall we?” The waiter took them in and while they were browsing the menus Kate kept
eyeing her sister’s lover curiously.

“I’ve heard so much about you from Roon-dog,” she started cryptically. Her voice didn’t give out
any clue whether she’d been impressed by what she’d heard or not. “Good things, I hope?” Cate
commented feeling rather uncomfortable under such close scrutiny. “Good doesn’t even start to
cut it, Miss Blanchett…” Kate quipped staring at her intently. “I’d say it has more to do with
euphoria, if you ask me.” Rooney kicked her sister under the table. “Never mind Kate, she needs
to be the smartass always…” she interrupted warning her sister to back off with a quick, angry
glance.

It was too late, though, because of Kate’s bad feeling about her sister’s all-consuming infatuation,
as she liked to call it. “I just hope you two know what you’re doing,” she continued deliberately
avoiding Rooney’s signals. “I’d hate either one of you getting seriously hurt over nothing, if you
catch my drift…” She picked up the menu once more. “What’s good in here?” she asked without
really looking at either one of her companions, “I’m so hungry I’m ready to sink my teeth into
pretty much anything.”
Weak Red Streak

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

When Rooney arrived at the restaurant Cate was already sitting at their table sipping an iced
cocktail that looked like a slushie. “What is that ?” she asked attempting to smile at the
unbelievable concoction her co-star was sucking through a straw. “A strawberry margarita… of
sorts,” Cate replied sheepishly. “I wanted something refreshingly extravagant – and this is so not
it,” she admitted with a faint chuckle. “I’ll have one as well,” Rooney decided gesturing to a
waiter to bring her one. “I think I could use something cold and oddly disappointing to kick start
this evening,” she blurted out nervously.

“Thank you for seeing me,” Cate said softly after an uncomfortable silence. “I wasn’t at all certain
you would… after the last time we talked.” Tasting the artificial margarita mix, Rooney couldn’t
help but wince. “I’m not in the habit of avoiding get-togethers. That’s more your department,” she
grumbled in return. “You’re right… and I deserved that,” Cate admitted, “and I’d like to talk to
you about it.” The chipped ice in her glass was already drained of all its color save a weak red
streak on the bottom.

“What’s there to talk about?” Rooney questioned. “You want to tell me you love me again?
Explain how your declaration of love goes together with your never showing up at our
rendezvous and ditching me altogether?” She didn’t mean to sound quite so bitter and it bothered
her the very minute she'd let it slip out. “Something like that, yes,” Cate confessed, “and I’m
willing to do whatever it takes to fix this… this thing between us.” Not believing her ears, Rooney
let go of the repugnant drink and stared at her ex-lover.

“This thing? This thing ?” she repeated angrily, “You are trying to make amends not even
knowing what it was we had two years ago?” It took all her strength not to get up and flip the
table over in sheer frustration. “Well, did you then?” Cate asked straight out. “Did you know what
we had? What it implied in the long run? Were you in it one hundred percent?” Her blue eyes
were challenging Rooney. “I had a husband. I have children… and you are sixteen years younger
than me – guess which one of us had more to lose?”

“More to lose?” Rooney spat out, “What a charming way to see our budding relationship!” She
had never thought of their relationship in terms of losing, at least not until she’d lost everything.
“How very foolish of me to think that being together would’ve indicated gaining something
instead…”

Rooney fell silent. She wanted to sulk and deny every word Cate had said or would say in the
next moment but something kept her quiet for now. She knew she was oversimplifying
everything, trying to cut corners just to make herself comfortable with what was being stated right
there and then. “Come on, cut the semantics… you know very well what I mean,” Cate interfered,
“We were mostly fucking, Rooney, and I loved it. I fucking loved every second of it. And there
were times when I thought it was all there was to it… but it wasn’t, and it took me a hell of a long
time to accept it,” Cate sighed devastated by the truth that had tortured her all this time.

“I loved being with you. I loved having you around. Hell, I loved the person I was when I was
with you, and when I lost you, I went back to disliking me again…” she looked at Rooney
needing her to understand. “It wasn’t even that… if I’d been displeased with myself before, I
straight out started hating myself after I walked out on you.” Cate’s eyes were pleading. “I’ve
been living this fucked up half life – going through the motions, keeping up appearances and at
the same time trying to figure out why everything tastes flat, why every single thing I touch and
feel seems pointless and dull myself included…”

Listening to Cate, Rooney remembered how she herself had waded through the first months of her
self-subscribed solitude in quiet desperation unable to wish for anything else but complete
numbness. Recalling it made her shiver once more and she didn’t want to have anything to do
with it ever again. To hear the words she’d pined after affected her more than she was able to deal
with at the moment and it made her angry above anything else.

“I don’t need to listen to what you’ve been going through… I’m not a bit interested in your agony
or your dull, pointless existence,” she hissed rudely, “I don’t need to and I sure as hell don’t want
to!” Rooney’s heart was pounding too fast and too heavily. “You… you never gave me a chance
to choose for myself…” she mumbled almost indecipherably, “You never included me in any of
your decisions, ignored all my attempts to talk about your kids – about our future.” She had to
draw breath before continuing. “You don’t get to be devastated by this. You have no right to be
shaken or broken or whatever it is you are trying to prove here. You are the same as ever - all talk
and no action!” Rooney couldn’t let Cate open her mouth anymore, she couldn’t risk hearing
another word, another deceitful sentence wiggling its way into her heart. I’m having a panic
attack any minute now, she realized stumbling on her feet. She needed to get outside, to breathe
fresh air, to be anywhere but here.

New York, USA, April 2016

“Her piercingly blue eyes and her alabaster skin, her surreal grace and magnetism taking over
the screen in her silence, even in her stare…” Rooney woke up still hearing her own voice
echoing inside her head, the words she’d spoken at Santa Monica just before presenting Cate yet
another award for her magnificent performance in Blue Jasmine. “I was being seduced over and
over again…” she had said referring to Cate’s versatility as an actor.

Rooney’s world had lost its colors, all of its piercing blues, sharp reds and tantalizing greens. Even
her own eyes seemed like mere watered down versions of their former selves. She had told the
audience at Santa Monica that the virtues she admired most about Cate were the ones she could
never disclose publicly, that they were her private little treasures she visited for inspiration, for
motivation, for reassurance and courage. Little did I know then.

All of them were gone now – inspiration, motivation, reassurance and courage. All but one – the
stare that penetrated her dreams and mocked her waking hours. “I would go looking for Cate
Blanchett but Cate Blanchett was never there…” Such cruel words at a time when everything was
only marked by her fervent crush, by her fearless determination to get closer to the enigma of her
future co-star. Such cruel words to predict the imminent loss of her idol… the love of her life?

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

After leaving Cate in the restaurant, Rooney found herself in a bar a few blocks further down from
her hotel. She was downing shots of tequila with a terrifying speed its effects already showing in
her posture. “Look at you, Roons…” A vaguely familiar female voice sounded seriously amused,
“You here all on your own?” Carrie was standing next to her at the bar counter. This time her sly
smile didn’t rattle Rooney at all. “Want some company?” she asked pulling a stool for herself, and
settling next to Rooney. “Looks like you’ve been here for quite some time already, haven’t you,
Rooney baby?” She rested her hand on Rooney’s shoulder and gave it a little squeeze. “Who do
you think you are?” Rooney mumbled, “Carol fucking Aird?” She laughed bitterly at her own
joke.

Irritated by her words, Carrie withdrew her hand and took a long, disapproving look at Rooney.
“Come on, girl, snap out of it… it’s so unbecoming.” She picked up her shot glass and slugged it
down without hesitation. “You’re right, Carrie. It is fucking pathetic,” Rooney said waving her
empty glass at the bartender. “I have no wish to prolong it any further.” She turned to take a closer
look at Carrie who was still bothered by her earlier remark.

“Hello, Carrie…” she said arranging an adorable grin on her drunken face. “Of all the gin joints in
all the towns in all the world, you walk into mine,” she slurred comically managing to crack Carrie
up. “Quoting Casablanca, huh?” Carrie laughed, “Do women really fall for that?” Rooney’s smile
was unfocused but lovely all the same. “Every fucking time…” she confirmed cockily. “Are you
coming on to me, Rooney baby?” Carrie asked quirking her eyebrows. She was getting very sure
of herself. “I don’t know… am I?” Rooney whispered mimicking Carrie’s seductive manner. “I
think you are… but you are also wasted, darling,” she giggled. “There’s nothing wasted in me,
baby – look, nothing’s going to waste,” Rooney replied recognizing the all too familiar scenario
favoring her once again. “I think we’re done here,” she acknowledged straightening her back,
“Let’s go.” Rooney got up and headed to the door not even checking if Carrie was following her.
After all, women always did.

New York, USA, November 2015

“Were you really terrified to do the film with me?” Cate asked soon after the BBC Breakfast
interview. The serious tone of her question caught Rooney off guard. “Of course… didn’t you
yourself say that in a way it’s always ‘first day of school’ on the set?” Cate nodded still wanting to
continue on the topic at hand. “The interview was a bit of a bore but I did enjoy your quip about
breaking the ice…” Rooney looked lost for a second. “What quip?” she asked. “About the scene
where we were in bed together, the one we practically started the whole filming with – you said
there’s no better way to break the ice than just get right down to it…” Cate hesitated to continue,
“Was that your meaning as well when you seduced me after Waterloo?”

Rooney sat down on the bed baffled by her question. It sounded odd to her, and it seemed to carry
some hidden meaning she couldn’t make out. “I sure as hell wasn’t trying to break any ice
between us… and I’m not at all sure if I like the way you just said it.” Sensing Rooney’s
uneasiness, Cate tried to make light of it. “No need to think any more of it, then… I suppose,” she
said, “after all I was glad you decided to make the move you did. I’m not at all sure I would’ve
had it in me.” Her amused afterthought didn’t exactly make Rooney feel any better about it.

“What is this?” she asked, “You placing blame or whatever it is you’re trying to convey here on
me?” She wasn’t willing to let Cate off the hook. “I did nothing you didn’t want me to do,” she
emphasized, “I asked for nothing you weren’t ready for.” She paused for a moment. “Let me
quote a person you know so very well – “I took what you gave willingly” – ring any bell?”
Having said that, Rooney felt suddenly very alone. “How do you actually view the film we made
together? Was it Carol who seduced Therese or did they in fact seduce one another?” The mere
idea of misinterpretation depressed Rooney incessantly. “And what is seduction any way if not a
mutually accepted form of means to an end both parties agree upon even before it has started to
unfold?”

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

I can screw whomever I want whenever I want, flashed through Rooney’s inebriated brain as she
felt Carrie biting her neck in the privacy of her room. Feeling her teeth against the sensitive skin of
her chest she suddenly wanted to laugh out loud, to voice her twisted, amused appreciation to such
an inappropriate display of passion – a passion she had no part in. I am here for one thing only,
she mused distancing herself from Carrie’s fierce caressing of her body parts, which seemed so
muted and dead.

I am here for pleasure, she tried to convince herself, for reassurance – for inspiration, motivation
and courage! All of a sudden she felt sick, nauseous, everything in her losing its last fragile grip
on what was going on. If she’d been panicking earlier, now she was desperately gasping for air,
looking for a window to open or to jump out of. “No, no, no, no…” she grunted in desperation
starting towards the door. Rooney wasn’t even sure what she had on at the time, she couldn’t have
cared less for she had to get out of Carrie's room, get out of the garish mistake she’d made. Getting
rid of foolhardy hands and mistaken lips, she stumbled out of the door into a corridor that seemed
to spin endlessly in front of her blurred eyes.

When Rooney finally found her way to her own room she didn’t stop at its entrance.

She took the few needed steps to reach Cate’s door and pounded on it. Why, she had no idea. The
door was opened almost immediately. “I feel sick…” she mumbled pressing her hand on her
mouth. She wasted no time rushing into the bathroom. As she was throwing up, Rooney felt
Cate's hand reach out for her hair to pull it back, to gently caress her neck. Hot tears were
streaming down Rooney's face as she puked her guts out.

Cate didn’t ask any questions. Seeing to that Rooney had everything she needed – a toot brush, a
clean t-shirt, she retreated to the other room to wait for her. She hadn’t expected to see her tonight
– to be honest, she hadn’t expected to see her privately at all anymore. When Rooney reappeared
from the bathroom, looking pale and fragile, Cate noticed a love bite on her neck. It hadn’t been
there earlier.

“Umm… I guess I should…” Rooney sounded confused. “No, you shouldn’t.” Cate took her
hand and led her to the bed. She tucked her in and without uttering another word, lie down next to
her careful not to touch her in any way.

The silence seemed to last an eternity and Cate thought Rooney had already passed out when she
heard her voice. “You know why we fucked so much?” Holding back her tears, Cate remained
silent. “Those were the only times I knew I truly had you for myself… to have and to hold…
without you thinking of anything or anyone else…”
Breaking Character
Chapter Notes

Okay, darlings... what can I say? I got up after a long night of friends, food and way,
way too many drinks. Feeling somewhat hung over all I could think was - WRITING
THIS CHAPTER. LOL.

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

Rooney opened her eyes remembering everything that had happened eight hours earlier. Her
bursting into Cate’s room, the nausea – everything before and after. No chance of happy oblivion.
At some point of the night, feeling ill and suffocated by the waning effects of alcohol, she’d shed
the shirt she’d so bashfully put on before getting in bed with Cate by her side. Now she regretted
her decision even though her skin felt feverishly hot even to her own touch.

Turning on her stomach, Rooney flipped her pillow over to press her hot cheek against its cooler
side. She tried to relax, to ease the uneven palpitation of her fluttering heart. As she lay there
almost still, she heard Cate turning around. Afraid to move a muscle, Rooney remained
motionless. She held her breath not exactly knowing why, when she felt Cate’s hands massaging
her back gently, soothingly. A long, intermittent sigh slipped out of Rooney’s mouth like a
suppressed whisper, and she closed her eyes to focus on the sweet pressure applied on her weary
fibers.

Rooney didn’t need to look at Cate to know she was sitting on top of her naked. Her thighs were
tightly set on both sides of her buttocks and the contact Cate’s groin had with her crack was
slippery and heated. I’m so hung over, I’m sweating, Rooney thought squeezing her eyes even
more tightly shut. She remembered how Cate had rubbed her body after many a festive night
when she’d had too much to drink. “Hold still,” she had said, “There’s nothing sexual in a decent
massage.” And even though Rooney had always found the set-up exceedingly arousing, she’d
acquiesced to her determined strokes that had finally rendered her calm and relaxed all over.

Cate knew how to quiet down the painful throbbing in Rooney’s head. Her fingers were easing
away the fatigue and tensions at the base of her neck, working their way outward, all the way to
the shoulders. Cate’s thumbs starting to make small circles on either side of the backbone, Rooney
breathed in and out trying hopelessly to feel normal under her ex-lover’s thorough attention.

Just when she was starting to be a bit more relaxed about it, two things happened. Rooney noticed
the center of Cate’s gravity shift as she leaned over to knead her with the bases of her palms.
Feeling the taut peaks of the blonde woman’s nipples grazing her skin gave her an unexpected jolt
she tried to hide in vain. Then, something slick, rubbing on the small of her back, left an imprint
resembling a wet stamp. Startled, she stiffened altogether to observe Cate’s movements, to
decipher what was in fact happening out of her eyes’ reach.

Cate sat immobile for a second. Her palms rested on Rooney’s lower back uncertain of their next
move. What are you doing? Cate asked herself pointlessly because she knew it very well. It
wasn’t as if she’d planned this from the very beginning – she’d recognized the source of Rooney’s
discomfort and wanted to relieve it. It had seemed like a good idea. Letting my bare bush brush
against her tight butt wasn’t, however, a stroke of genius, she mused nervously. Jesus, what a
glorious ass it is…

Slowly, paying attention to every signal she might receive, Cate moved a bit further down and
started kneading her buttocks with her fingers. Her each stroke becoming more confident than the
previous one, she drew a quick breath before sliding her thumbs way down to Rooney’s crack.
Their contact with her folds affected Rooney like a flick of thousand matches inside her depth
followed by a brilliant, scorching flame.

Finding Rooney incredibly swollen her juices trickling on her hands, Cate gasped overwhelmed
by her own desire and relief. She wanted to pleasure Rooney, to make her cum, and the intent to
do so was so blinding she had to consciously pace herself. Cate felt in control of Rooney’s entire
body that had started to writhe, to tremble under her command. She could hear her breathing
getting anxious and impatient, feel her hips thrust against her bold fingers still biding their time at
the threshold of her hot center.

Hearing Rooney moan was almost enough to break Cate’s restraint but she wanted so much more
than just a quick release, she wanted to take her to the edge and keep her there, to pause and
prolong the contact as long as humanly possible. She withdrew her fingers slowly offering no
explanation, only grazing her slit in passing as a promise or consolation.

Panting by now, Rooney closed her eyes in sweet agony. She raised herself on all fours and
pushed against Cate willing her to continue – demanding her to do it right away. But when
Rooney in all her haste feared the moment had somehow passed, she gasped to feel Cate’s tongue
enter her sharply, precisely, from behind. Rooney raised her head up to suck air into her lungs or
rather let out a wild groan of mad lust. Each thrust burning her deeper than the one just before,
Rooney’s knees started shaking uncontrollably. A dark, impenetrable veil of want hung heavy in
front of her eyes as Cate darted in and out of her, spreading her legs further apart and pushing her
face against her flowing essence.

Just when the build-up was getting to be too much, Cate’s movements slowed down and ceased
completely. “Turn around,” she whispered wanting to face Rooney. Desperate for more, she
obeyed and cast a pleading look at Cate. “Please…” she huffed on the verge of helpless tears. “I
won’t ever leave you wanting,” Cate murmured softly locking eyes with her again. She pushed
Rooney on the mattress and pressed against her forcefully her right hand diving down to pleasure
her the way she needed. Gazing straight into Rooney’s eyes, Cate’s lips parted parched by the
savage arousal that had been impaling her for what seemed like an eternity by now. She’s so
beautiful, so fierce, flickered through Cate’s consciousness as she followed Rooney through the
strengthening of her pleasure and the final apex of its imminent release.

When Rooney came around again, Cate was shy to meet her gaze. Had she taken the liberty she
simply wasn’t entitled to anymore – even though it had been eventually handed out to her? As if
reading her thoughts, Rooney kissed her on the mouth. It could’ve been a grateful kiss, a mere
thank you for a welcome release, and maybe Cate interpreted it as such at first, but when it
deepened, she began to have second thoughts.

Rooney moved along Cate’s body kissing it properly, brushing her lips on her skin as if starting
little fires in each lovely pore of her being. Every so often she would look up to see if Cate was
searching for her eyes. She was, and it made Rooney feel confident in everything she was doing.
The first mad rush of passion having subsided, she felt another, more steadfast one taking over, as
she paid homage to Cate’s curves with her mouth. Seeing her so perfectly aroused under her,
Rooney was suddenly filled with serenity she had mistakenly thought she’d lost for good. This
may not last but for now it is strangely enough, she understood, letting her hands roam freely over
the heaving chest, the fluttering abdomen all the way down to the wisp of blonde hair in Cate’s
groin.
Knowing exactly how she wanted Cate to cum, Rooney switched their positions. Lying under her,
she pulled Cate all the way up to her mouth wanting her wetness to flood over her cheeks as her
tongue teasingly circled her opening. She kept her hands on each side of her ass at first helping
Cate to find a rhythm she liked best, and each time when she sensed Cate’s movements becoming
too jerky and unpredictable, Rooney took her time to savor the sensation above her head.

Cate’s taste was intoxicatingly familiar, and even now Rooney knew instinctively everything there
was to deduce from its bewitching mouthful. She had learnt all her flavors – how a woman tastes
at different times of the month – and she recognized the moods and affinities that coincided with
the sharp, the sour and the sweet of her cum. Rooney was perfectly aware when to pull back and
when to push forward, when to be rough and when to tease her gently all the way up to her
orgasm. Yet there had never been just a one way for each mood but a multitude of variations on
the theme of… love?

There’s a lot to be said about love left only in the bedroom, but certainly as much to be discovered
in one found right there. The room filled with sounds growing louder as Cate moved faster against
Rooney’s face. Her blonde hair fell over her temples in disarray, nothing in her remaining in its
former place or position. Nearing her peak, she suddenly wanted even more. Struggling to find
words, she stared at Rooney her eyes blinking of sheer desperation. Recognizing her need,
Rooney steadied her down on top of her, caressing her cheeks soothingly.

“I’ll give you what you want,” she convinced Cate first pulling her down and then swiftly getting
on top of her. Parting her thighs as wide as possible she took her place between them and attached
her own wetness to Cate’s throbbing crotch. Feeling the hot, pulsing contact, Rooney started to
move against her determinedly, in fast, uncompromising thrusts that erupted into moans unheard
by either one of them before. Cate’s glazed eyes stayed with Rooney while her hands seemed
glued to her buttocks urging her to push harder and sweeter each time. “Oh god…” Rooney heard
Cate wail through the haze of her sly, second orgasm, “Now…” Hearing it, Rooney pushed her
fingers inside her just in time to heighten the quickening contractions of Cate’s staggering climax.

“I need a cigarette,” Rooney mumbled as they were lying on the bed exhausted. “You can’t
smoke here. This is a non-smoking room.” Amused, Rooney looked at Cate. “Every single room
is a non-smoking room nowadays, haven’t you noticed?” She toyed with her pack of smokes but
threw it away. “But I’m not particularly fond of those sprinklers above our heads…” She let out a
heavy sigh.

“Rooney…” Cate started apprehensively, “What are we doing?” Rooney regretted having gotten
rid of the pack – at least it had given her fingers something to do. “The one thing we’re good at, I
suppose,” she replied with a sad chuckle. Cate decided to ignore her belittling remark. “You say
I’m same as ever, all talk and no action… I’d like to change it.” Genuinely surprised, Rooney
glanced at her. “And how do you propose to do just that?” she inquired. “Well, there must be a
way to prove my… hmm… worth – or at least my not being totally worthless.” She sounded
vulnerable and it registered with Rooney as well. “That’s not exactly what I meant,” Rooney said
embarrassed to remember all the hurtful words she’d flung at Cate the night before. It was in her
nature to be volatile in her outcries and she had regretted it many times. Then again she couldn’t
quite find fault in her estimation of her, not even now.

Cate’s phone rang interrupting their conversation before it had even started properly. “Should I
answer…or not?” she asked Rooney not knowing what to do. “Yeah, go ahead,” Rooney replied
not wanting to prevent her from doing anything at this time. “Hello, Andrew…” The mere
mention of his name got Rooney mad again. This is stupid, this is pointless, what am I doing here,
she mused annoyed. “Is everything okay? I can’t really talk right now,” Cate spoke glancing
nervously at Rooney. I shouldn’t have answered, I should’ve just let it go to my voicemail…
Seeing Rooney pick up her clothes and get dressed rattled her immensely. “Can you wait a
second…” she put the phone down and looked at Rooney hoping she’d stay. Rooney however
had other plans.

“It’s late and I have to go,” she said, “We’re shooting the rehearsal dinner scene in one hour and
I’m a mess… I’ll see you on the set.” Before Cate had a chance to say anything, she had already
left the room.

Peabody-Evans Rehearsal Dinner, Scene 44, Take 1

INT. PEABODY RESIDENCE, DINING ROOM. EVENING.

A large gathering of people around a magnificent dinner table. REX EVANS stands at the head of
the table, on her right side sits ELIZABETH PEABODY. Immediate family as well as friends and
business associates are present as well, among them C.O. DEWITT, MARY JANE HUSSEY and
two uninvited guests, reporters CHESTER GRUNION and PEGGY FIRESTONE.

KYLE (smiling smugly): Dear friends, family – welcome! It is my utmost pleasure to


have this opportunity to meet each and every one of you before tomorrow’s
festivities… this also gives me the welcome chance to rehearse not only eating but
also giving my speech to my lovely wife-to-be…

SARAH (whispering to JOHN): Have you ever heard anything as tacky? Ruining
the element of surprise…

JOHN (interrupting): …and boring us to death at the same time!

KYLE (addressing Cate): Darling Elizabeth, you are everything a man can wish for.
Therefore I am the luckiest man alive…

(Approving murmurs from the crowd present.)

KYLE (continued): To me you are perfection itself – you are not a woman but a
goddess we mere mortals shouldn’t even be allowed to touch…. (he pauses and looks
at Cate who seems confused – then he turns to address others)

Whenever people ask me what it is I find so enchanting about Elizabeth, they expect
me to mention her beauty or her brightness but no, I don’t think in those terms. I love
– no, I worship Elizabeth because she makes no mistakes. She is beyond reproach,
impeccable in all she is and does.

(Cate moves uncomfortably in her chair.)

ROONEY (interrupting): You make her sound as if she’s not a human at all…

KYLE (delighted): But she isn’t! Can’t you see? Can’t everybody? She’s a brilliant
example of what humanity ought to be but simply cannot… None of us can attain the
level of grace she occupies.

CATE (chuckling nervously): Dear Rex, what next? A shrine for your future ball-
and-chain?

KYLE (knotting her brow patronizingly): Darling, we all appreciate your kind
attempt to meet us in our lacking terms but don’t ever sink to our level… we are so
not worthy.
And a shrine, indeed! I will build you one for the entire world to see and let you shine
on as the eternal beacon of divine beauty you are!

SARAH (whispering to JOHN): That pompous ass scares me… he’s gone
completely off his rocker…

JOHN (whispering back): He’s got some serious intimacy issues alright if he really
intends to keep such a looker at arm's length… I wonder how he’s going to make
love to a Vestal Virgin?

(Cate shoots a harried look at Rooney causing them both to break character.)

“CUT! CUT!” Todd stared at Cate and Rooney in disbelief. “WHAT THE FUCK JUST
HAPPENED?” He was understandably upset. “We were doing so well and then…” he ran his
fingers through his graying hair. “Is there some kind of a problem between you two I should know
about or why are you wasting everybody’s valuable time?”

“It was my fault,” Cate acknowledged apologetically. “I forgot my lines…” Todd rolled his eyes
in desperation. “You have hardly any lines at all in this scene, Cate – and you never forget your
lines!” Cate shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I forgot if I had lines and it’s obviously good that I
don’t since I would’ve forgotten them if I’d had them…”

Sarah let out a muffled noise that sounded a lot like a chuckle but Todd was not amused. “Listen,
Todd,” Phyllis calmed him down, “This was only the first take… let’s do it again. These things
happen.”

After they’d finally wrapped it up, it was time for the film crew to meet with the first members of
the press. The journalists were eager to hear about their impressions on the film so far.

“There were quite a few rumors or should I say a lot of wishful thinking circling around you and
Miss Mara at the time of your public appearances for Carol in 2015…” A young female journalist
was rounding up her interview with Cate on the set. “Remembering the discrepancies between
your Cannes’ interview and the follow-up statement in Variety, is there anything you’d like to say
about the issue so many of us have been wondering about?” The question was obscure at best but
for Cate its implications were far from blurry. I could say it right now, let it all come out, she
thought overcome by her sudden willingness to do just that. Talk can be action as well…

She hadn’t noticed Rooney standing very close to them. Hearing the improper question,
something in Rooney jumped up, alerted her into action. She sensed Cate’s hesitation in front of
such a brazen inquiry and it made her sick with worry. I won’t let you do this, hammered inside
Rooney’s head, not like this – not now.

“You’re out of line…” Rooney was approaching the journalist fast. “I don’t appreciate these kinds
of questions.” Her voice had an angry edge to it ready to lash out. “Who is this person?” She
asked the people surrounding them. “Who let this… this fucker in?” Cate swallowed hearing her
so mad at once. “Let me see your credentials…” Rooney ripped the id badge off of the woman’s
lapel. “Never heard of this rag. Some wretched tabloid site you’re writing for?” She was standing
very close to the hapless journalist. “Or is this just some fan fiction for your own perverse
pleasure?” The poor woman couldn’t get a word out of her mouth.

“Getting off on material like this? Asking Miss Blanchett if she’d been fucking me on the set of
Carol ?” Cate cringed at her words. “Miss Blanchett is a seasoned professional, and if you’d done
your homework – although you must’ve been living under a rock or something having missed it –
she’s also a wife and a mother…” Rooney was livid by now. “Show some goddamn respect!” she
yelled at her. “If not for Miss Blanchett, at least for your line of work!” Cate tried desperately to
intervene but nothing came out of her mouth.

“Rooney…” Sarah started having witnessed her outburst. “It’s okay, Rooney, it comes with the
territory…” Rooney shot an angry glance at her friend. “It’s not okay, and I won’t have this kind
of crap happen in here, not even once… now apologize!” she commanded the journalist. “Umm…
I’m sorry…” she started staring at her unexpected tormentor. “Apologize to Miss Blanchett!” The
woman averted her eyes and slowly turned to face Cate. “My most sincere apologies, Miss
Blanchett… I was out of line,” she muttered with difficulty. Cate nodded not knowing where to
look. “And now get the hell out of here…” Rooney continued menacingly. Visibly shaken, the
journalist picked up her bag and hurried towards the door.

The incident had had its obvious effect on the film crew as well. “Rooney…” Todd started after a
moment of stunned silence – a silence like a heavy cloak on everyone’s shoulders after the
reprimanded woman had disappeared out of sight. “That was uncalled for,” he said seriously, “we
will need all the support from the LGBTQ community if we’re ever going to get this baby
commercially off the ground.” He looked rather desperate. “I think you should go after her and
apologize.” Rooney stared at him fumbling for right words to express her disgust when Cate
spoke up instead. “Todd, with all due respect… butt out!”
Joker's Wild

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

Rooney was breathing heavily after the incident with Todd. It had nothing to do with his stupid
remark or even with the idiotic journalist but it had everything to do with Cate. I don’t need
anyone to fight my battles, least of all Cate fucking Blanchett. The scene they’d filmed had left her
feeling uneasy as well. What the fuck was that all about?

Without as much as thinking it through, she decided to let Cate have a piece of her mind. To tell
her to leave her alone, to mind her own business. When Cate opened the door of her room,
Rooney froze. Whatever she’d decided to spit out evaporated the very second she saw her
standing at the threshold in her casual yet impeccable clothes. “I’m sorry if I said something I
shouldn’t have,” Cate said quietly noticing Rooney’s confused outlook.

Closing the door behind her, Rooney leaned against it and just stared at Cate. Countless warm
memories, stolen glances and hidden, fleeting caresses flooded her consciousness, and she let it all
wash over her in one impetuous cascade of emotion. Everything in Rooney turned to Cate like the
green vines of a wilted flower desperate for sun.

A kiss, nothing more and nothing less, containing secrets waiting to be unfold. Two sets of lips
clinging to one another, both soothing and bewildering at the same time. The melting of mouths
leading to the melting of minds, she thought brushing Cate’s blonde locks aside while feeling her
hands pressing her narrow waist. Rooney felt weak, wonderfully so, utterly conquered in a way
that didn’t matter at all. Just let this continue, please.

“I don’t need anything else”, Rooney whispered unexpectedly, “I can cum just by the touch of
your tongue inside my mouth…” Pierced by her words, Cate deepened their contact losing her
sense of boundaries, had there ever been any, losing everything for a caress ready to hold so much
meaning or none at all. I love you, Rooney, Cate thought. I love you now and now and now, and
the moments when I do form a chain of bittersweet epiphanies like the sharp shards of a fallen
star on the path of my life.

“I love you, Roo,” she exhaled between hurried breaths, “I love you,” and for the first time
Rooney didn’t seem to mind. No, she didn’t seem to mind at all. Her tears streamed down her
cheeks all the way to their half-opened lips adding their salt to the sweet of their soft, smiling
embrace.

Los Angeles, USA, January 2016

“Cate… can you look at me? Great… thanks…”

“Rooney! Rooney! Turn around… this way – good – just one more!”

“Todd, can you pose with Cate and Rooney? Excellent! Let me take a new one…
wonderful!”

The photo ops were tiresome yet they had to be done. The BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party was a
nice event enough, not the worst of the lot by any standard, and it did provide Cate and Rooney
the opportunity to get together once more. “How’s everything?” Rooney asked Cate when they
finally had a moment to themselves. “Good, I suppose… well, as good as can be expected,” Cate
scoffed finally. “It’s hard to let go, you know?”
Rooney cast a surprised glance at her. “What do you mean by letting go?” Cate looked troubled.
“Well, Carol of course… this is the beginning of the end, after all. Not many of these left.” She
sounded depressed. “The way you put it is so final,” Rooney commented, “Makes me wonder
what else it may imply…” She wasn’t at all comfortable with Cate’s mood, in fact she’d noticed a
change in her behavior already some time ago yet she’d thought it had had everything to do with
her work stress.

“Oh, you know me, at this point everything’s more or less getting on my nerves…” Cate
explained vaguely. At what point? Rooney wanted to ask but at the same time she was afraid to.
She was also aware of the short time they had together in L.A., just a couple of days, and she
wanted to make them memorable. “I booked us a room at Chateau Marmont…” she said instead.
“Well, two rooms, of course, but I doubt if the other one gets used at all.” A warm smile had
returned to Cate’s lips – a genuine one after all the posing they’d been subjected to. “I can’t wait,
Roo… I ache for you, baby.”

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“I’m going to see Andrew the day after tomorrow,” Cate told Rooney as they were lying on the
bed. Gazing intensely at her green eyes, she traced the contours of her slim, naked body with her
fingertips. “And I want you to meet him as well.” Whatever Rooney had expected Cate to say
after the first part of her revelation, this was certainly not it. “What?” She asked taken aback. “No
fucking way.” Cate let out an exasperated sigh. She moved on top of her lover and kissed her
neck gently again and again. “Don’t... say… that…” she breathed in and out between her bites.
She sensed Rooney yielding under her pressure. “Let’s… do… this… right…” Cate kept on
murmuring.

Cate’s body undulating on top of her own, Rooney was ready to surrender to the delicious
crossfire of her undeniable arousal. Its audacious shots ricocheting inside her restless frame, she
was impatient for more. But Cate wanted to talk about Andrew. “My love,” she whispered
soothingly, “I want this… I wouldn’t ask you to meet him, if I didn’t”. Rooney didn’t attempt to
hide her apparent frustration. “What good would it do?” she asked finally. “What on earth would
we even have to talk about?” she inquired. “Right now you are hardly even human beings to one
another, just obstacles thrown in your way… that is if you still want me? If you don’t, tell me
now,” Cate said quietly.

Do I want you? Rooney’s world was in turmoil and if she was truly honest with herself, she didn’t
really know what she wanted at this point. She’d started the film confident in her own ability to
keep her emotions at bay yet everything had turned upside down. Do I love you? She asked
herself. Can I still love you? And if she didn’t, where had it gone – where was it hiding and would
it ever show its face to her anymore?

Love is never simple after the first time, Rooney knew. Love crowds you and showers you with
its precious gifts. People talk about love at first sight, yet no one breathes a word of first sight of
love. The breathtaking, all engulfing first sight of love that sets our souls aflame for a quick,
eternal second the memory of which shatters us for years and even lifetimes to come. Am I like
that? She asked. Did she ruin me for not only everyone else but for herself as well? “Okay,”
Rooney replied hoping her silence hadn’t lasted for too long, “I’ll meet him if you insist.”

DeWitt Meets the Reporters, Scene 57, Take 1

EXT. PEABODY POOL HOUSE, BY THE POOL. NIGHT.


C.O. DEWITT stands by the pool smoking a cigarette after the rehearsal dinner. Reporters
CHESTER GRUNION and PEGGY FIRESTONE come by to keep her company.

JOHN (holding his stomach): Don’t know about you guys but I found the dessert
overtly sweet… but far more pleasant than our host’s saccharine speech!

SARAH: For once I have to agree with you, dear Chester…

ROONEY (amused): Can’t stomach sugary statuettes of veritable ice queens, huh?

JOHN: Now, there’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one… as far as I know water melts
sugar in no time.

ROONEY: Not in this case. The cool goddess of all things heterosexual will
undoubtedly stay in tact even after a slight brush with a few sugary gestures…

SARAH: Do I detect a trace of bitterness in your sentiment there, dear Miss DeWitt?

ROONEY: What on earth could give you such an idea, Miss Firestone?

SARAH: Well, you were kinda questioning his rationale over there, weren’t you? Or
should I say his irrationale ?

JOHN: Am I missing something here, ladies? I’d hate to be left out of your delightful
banter regarding one Elizabeth Peabody, soon to be Evans…

SARAH: Darling Chester, the things you’re missing could fill a strip-mine… but I
like you enough to let you in on a secret – Miss DeWitt carries a torch for Miss
Peabody.

ROONEY (breathlessly): You’re out of line!

SARAH: I’m afraid I’m not…

JOHN (interrupting): Torches, ice queens… I’m confused… sounds like someone or
someones are heading towards a terrifying meltdown!

SARAH: For someone as blind as you are, dear Chester, you do find a kernel of corn
every once in a while!

ROONEY (agitated): Will you please shut up! This is not a joke…

SARAH (sympathetically): Of course it isn’t, I read you loud and clear, and please
believe me when I say that I root for you always because it is for you her eyes
sparkle…

ROONEY (suspiciously): Are you shitting me?

SARAH: No, I’m not. She may think she “drifted” in your arms but it’s so much
more than that… and if you’re as invested in this as I think you are you need to file
your claim before the ultimate disaster takes place.

ROONEY: I’m afraid I’ve played my hand already…

SARAH: It’s not like you’re playing Old Maid… remember, joker’s wild!
“Cut!” The way Todd patted Rooney’s back as she walked out of the frame irritated her slightly.
She knew he meant well, maybe even apologized in his clumsy way, but she wasn’t ready to
accept any half-hearted gesture as a believable peace offering.

“Hey, Roons!” Carrie had been following their shoot closely. “Hey…” Rooney replied quietly not
really wanting to take the conversation any further. She was embarrassed by the other night, and
she didn’t want to dwell on her uneasiness. Then again she couldn’t afford to be rude either. “I
was wondering if we could have coffee or something?” Carrie asked searching her eyes. Oh
Christ… Rooney turned to rummage her bag for something, anything. “I’m rather busy at the
moment…” Carrie didn’t move an inch. “I thought we’re friends,” she said simply. “Of course we
are,” Rooney hastened to answer feeling foolish already. “So how about that cup of coffee then?”
Carrie insisted although her voice was by no means demanding. “Okay…” Rooney relented
finally.

“You left rather abruptly the other night…” Carrie said. “Sorry about that… I was rather drunk,”
Rooney explained staring at the black, still surface of her hot drink. “I came to look for you
afterwards but you weren’t in your room,” Carrie continued. “I was worried about you for a
second.” Rooney could feel her eyes fixed on her. “But I have a pretty good idea where you
were.” The way Carrie said it was calm and matter-of-fact.

“Roons… I do like you, and I wish things were different, I won’t pretend otherwise, but I’m not
stupid,” she started pensively. “Where people end up when they’re at their most vulnerable state
tells a hell of a lot… do remember that,” Carrie continued, “never underestimate the subconscious,
darling. Sometimes it’s all we have.” Rooney just nodded not knowing what else she could do or
say at the time. “Well, I’m almost done with my scenes,” Carrie noted, “I may come back for
some reshoots at the end of the month but this is it for me… Good luck, Rooney Mara, may you
live and prosper.” Smiling, she got up and got ready to leave. “Carrie,” Rooney said, “I’ll see you
around, okay?” Her eyes locked with Carrie’s and luckily it was enough for the both of them.

“Take care, darling.”


Wives and Lovers

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“We’re here to speak about Cate’s career,” Andrew started after a pained silence. Slouching
against a side table, he looked tired and a way older than his years.

His words hit Rooney like a hot poker scorching her side. “Cate’s career? We’re here to talk about
that?” she challenged angrily. “If so, then please excuse me,” she continued aggravated, “I’m sure
you’ll do a far better job without me…” She bolted towards the door only to be stopped by Cate.

“Rooney, Rooney, please!” she pleaded. “We’re not here to talk about that at all…” Cate sounded
desperate – desperate to get both of them to understand the reason why they’d been brought
together in the first place. “I don’t care about my career… I care about my life,” she said quietly.

“Of course you do,” Andrew pointed out, “You’d be fool not to. And work is your life.” Rooney
looked at Cate who was trying to find words to explain what she really meant.

Never in a million years would I have thought I’d agree with Andrew but I do, Rooney mused
watching the couple struggle to find some common ground in their disagreement. Why would she
give it all up for my sake? Why would she risk everything just to be with me?

“If you think for one second I’m in this business for the accolades, you don’t know me at all,”
Cate continued addressing her husband, “I’m not your run-of-the-mill Hollywood actress and I
never will be.” She let out an exasperated sigh. “It was never my plan to be a star… all I wanted
was to act, and I will do just that till the day I die.” Rooney having abandoned her first impulse to
walk out, Cate felt relieved enough to sit down. “I’m here to talk about the future…” she cast a
quick glance at Rooney, “…and all of its implications.”

Rooney sat on her chair letting Cate’s words sink in. She was grateful Cate hadn’t referred to her
own future or to their possible future together. By keeping it somehow ambiguous, Cate had
managed to convey an idea of a future that wasn’t fixed after all. Nothing was decided in any way
in Cate’s mind, Rooney realized, and the blurriness of it all felt oddly comforting. She’s not taking
me for granted, crossed her mind suddenly. She knows I haven’t made up my mind.

“You have children, for God’s sake!” Andrew blurted out. “That should count as something!
They are also your life!” He sounded upset and eager to hear if Cate could somehow explain them
away.

“I love my children more than anything,” Cate hastened to clarify, “and you of all people should
know better!” Drawing breath, she tried to calm herself down. She was getting agitated and she
knew it wasn’t going to help the situation one bit. “I’m also very aware that if I am to truly love
them, to teach them integrity and self-worth, I should do what is right by me…” Her voice was
steady, in control once more. “What will they say about me later on if I’m just a shell of a person
going through the motions for the sake of mere appearances?”

Hearing her conclusion, Andrew flinched noticeably. “I had no idea that’s all we had. I still love
you very much. I’ve never stopped wanting to have this life with you.” His voice exuded sadness
that hung heavily all around the room.

Rooney stared at Andrew suddenly understanding where he was coming from, what his feelings
were, and how he had painted himself into a corner. As much as she wanted to hate him for the
thing he had done, the despicable lie he’d manufactured, she couldn’t find fault in his sincerity. He
loves her and he’s desperate to keep her.

Love never ends at the same time, occurred to her. Something kindled simultaneously turns so
easily into a bitter travesty of its former self. Listening to Cate and Andrew, Rooney felt like an
intruder, an actor who should’ve waited for her turn in the wings instead. This is not my scene, she
thought, not my cue yet, but at the same time she knew she couldn’t just leave. The script of our
human interactions is poorly written.

“We are bound together for the rest of our lives, Andrew,” Cate spoke, “our children see to that.”
She glanced at Rooney worried she would take her words in the wrong way. “But I want my own
life back. I want it for me.”

Hearing her last remark, Andrew scoffed. “I think you forgot your little friend here… my
apologies… Miss Mara, I mean. You want it for you and your new lover.”

Cate ran her hands through her hair trying to win a moment to gather her scattered thoughts. “If
you think I am doing this just to fulfill some romantic whim you are badly mistaken. None of this
would’ve happened if what we had hadn’t already been broken.”

“Rooney,” Cate said wanting to pull her into the conversation, “I can only imagine the conflicting
emotions you must have...” Her bright blue eyes looked pained and fragile. “Hell, I don’t even
know if you still want me but all I know is I’ve got to play my hand now.”

Two queens and a joker, flashed through Rooney’s mind, she’s all in and her poker face isn’t that
convincing.

Los Angeles, USA, August 2015

Roughed them up, the poor innocent girls, Rooney had said referring to her past dalliances.
Fucked the living daylights out of their pretty heads. Cate had found it all a marvelous turn-on, a
form of foreplay she relished with gusto. Yet somewhere along the line it had become just that – a
play for two people afraid of their own feelings, a charade so effective it lit the make believe and
overshadowed the obvious.

Cannes remained an island in time, a place they were reluctant to revisit as if the memories of their
romantic vacation in paradise were too lovely to gaze upon in broad daylight. They rarely if ever
even referred to it, and if someone mentioned the success and the celebration of Carol in France,
they avoided each other’s gaze and skirted around the issue.

When did it change? When did it become obvious that neither of them was in it for temporary
thrills only? When did the mere fucking turn into more than just fucking?

It was pouring outside. The high-ceiling windows of their hotel room were streaked with relentless
rain as if some angry, invisible animal were clawing its way inside.

“You love it,” Rooney whispered to Cate as she re-emerged from between her legs. “I know you
want it…” she murmured to the breathless blonde who had her eyes closed for now. “You always
want me to fuck you… you live for it, don’t you?” she taunted her keeping her palm pressed
against her wet slit.

Feeling her fingers circle the rim of her cunt, Cate’s body tensed. “Yes…” She was still
recovering from her orgasm, yet the touch of her hand electrified her nerve ends once more.

“My turn…” Rooney whispered suddenly overcome by Cate’s ready response. She pulled Cate’s
hand between her folds. “Can you feel how wet I am for you?” Her blue eyes dabbed with dark
hand between her folds. “Can you feel how wet I am for you?” Her blue eyes dabbed with dark
silver, Cate nodded. “Open your thighs, baby…” Rooney muttered positioning her body between
her legs. Pressing forcefully, she grinded her swollen slit against her mound.

“Oh god…” Cate grunted feeling Rooney’s wet heat against her throbbing clit. Her breathing
becoming slightly labored, Rooney’s movements still remained controlled.

“This is not it,” Rooney huffed. “I need a saddle… Lady Godiva style, baby,” she breathed in as
she straddled Cate in one swift motion. Guiding Cate’s fingers inside her, she started riding her
hand slowly at first, panting heavily as her cunt dove down to meet Cate’s thrusts. Gasping, Cate
savored the sight of her hand disappearing deep inside Rooney, sensing the gradual tightening
around her fingers. Every time she drew them out, the flood of Rooney’s juices flowed over her
knuckles. Despite her own arousal, Cate felt powerful, in charge. She strengthened her hold of her
lover by teasing her clit with her left thumb.

“Fuck…” Rooney exhaled her voice cracking. Cate’s sweet precision sent the first flares of her
orgasm slinking through. She wanted to resist the urge to let them engulf her just yet. “Slower…”
she wailed against her better judgment, “please…”

I’m calling the shots now, flashed through Cate’s mind as she deliberately ignored her wishes.
“No… I’m gonna fuck you hard, right now, baby.” Rooney’s eyes fade to black as she saw the
look on Cate’s face, the frenzied need in her to own it all. Sweet shivers ran up her sides as Cate
filled her up again, thrusting once more in and out of her aching hole.

The decision was made for her and there was nothing she could do about it. Rooney was aware of
only Cate, of her stubborn determination, of the ever-expanding, brain splintering pleasure around
her own taut center. Her mind blank, she held her breath all her muscles rigid, focused on the one
overpowering thing only. As much as Rooney enjoyed being in control, she euphorically
succumbed to Cate’s command. Barely afloat in the well of her own want to begin with, she was
now being pulled to the bottom of it with no chance of escape.

“Cum for me, baby,” Cate murmured egging her on, “You can’t fight me…” her voice a scalding
breath on her sternum, “you’re so fucking gorgeous…” Rooney opened her mouth as if to say
something, but nothing, not even a moan, left her throat. Everything about her rapturously
engorged, she gave into tremors erupting from the point of their contact.

Riding the entire length of Cate’s fingers, she needed to draw out every last trickle, uproot every
shred of pleasure embedded beneath her conscious realm. A fierce current shooting upwards,
splicing her in half, Rooney’s eyelids fluttered open. She had rarely looked into anyone’s eyes in
this very moment, and doing so now was enough to pierce her alive. A voice cried out Cate’s
name and it took her a while to recognize it as her own.

I love you, Rooney wanted to say. It echoed in her ears like a primal scream she desperately tried
to keep to herself. Quickened by her emotion, she crawled on top of Cate wanting to cover all of
her, to consume every pore of her body with her mad hunger. I love you, I recognize you, I know
you. And when she looked at Cate, she saw the same recognition in her eyes. The conspiracy of
lovers, the secret passion – the need to forsake the world that would forever attempt to keep them
apart.

Love is an animal, and it’s never tame, Cate thought as she caressed everything that was Rooney.
You crowd me and you leave me breathless, your beauty is the beauty of a ceased battle. You
disarm me yet you surrender as well. She pulled her into a kiss that went on long after the rain had
stopped pounding against their worldly façade – and long enough for the obvious to step into the
spotlight.
Hello, Slow Stroke!

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

Rooney watched as Cate and Andrew got entangled in one argument after another, and after a
while she didn’t really listen to them anymore. She saw their mouths moving, their arms rising to
make a point, eyes widening of hurt and disbelief. Transported far from the heated conversation
by her wandering mind, Rooney imagined a parallel time and place – an isolated happiness
brought about by perfect timing. She tried to envision what it would’ve been like to meet Cate
with no ties, no responsibilities, no baggage of any kind.

An open space with no dead angles, nothing to prohibit her sight, a space so panoramically wide,
she couldn’t possibly grasp its entirety. Why couldn’t I have that? For a while she imagined
strolling along the heavenly highway, meeting Cate, seeing her already from afar without a threat
of being broadsided by anyone or anything. And the trail of her longing looked familiar as well for
hers had been an impeccable existence so far, so perfectly paved by her privileged childhood and
the wealth of love showered upon her. Yet she had taken it for granted, never questioned what she
should have considered an otherworldly luck to be born in the right family at the right time. I’ve
never had to fight for anything, Rooney mused. Never thrown up my hands in anguish only to
come back and find a way around it.

She stole a glance at Cate who had her hand on her chest as if reminding her heart to stay intact
and at its place. Would anything crystal clear be worth fighting for? Would I have known what to
look for if everything had been visible from the very start?

Sudden warmth seeped through Rooney’s body, and once it reached her heart, its easy light
diffused on the tender surface of her thoughts. Everything’s happened just it was supposed to, she
realized. Closing her eyes, she traced the narrow dirt path of her own choosing, and for once she
found it beautiful. Perplexing, but beautiful all the same for it was where Cate was. She’d tried to
divert from it but she’d come back. She came back to fight for me, and now she’s making room
for me. Calmness set upon Rooney, and it soothed her soul.

One look and I come undone. Flooded by emotion, Cate tried to focus on what Andrew was
saying although his record was broken already. I want to hold her hand, occurred to Cate and the
simplicity of her wish made her fingers ache. We’ve never held hands. We’ve never done
anything… ordinary.

I will sit here as long as you need me to, Rooney thought looking at the woman who no longer
stood on the way of her happiness. Not on her way but beside her. And when you’re done, I will
move my world to be with yours. Their eyes met briefly, and Rooney poured it all in just one
glance. You breathe and my lungs fill with air, you smile and everything in me scatters, spins
around your love. You give me life.

Rooney suppressed a smile so capricious it fluttered inside her like a rebellious genie. I can afford
to be gracious, I can forgive and forget, she thought seeing the defeat on Andrew’s face. I may
even learn to like him. And the second the idea formed in her head, she almost did.

Peabody and Evans, Night of The Rehearsal Dinner, Scene 79, Take 11

INT. PEABODY RESIDENCE, PARLOUR. NIGHT.

Smoking a cigar, REX EVANS enjoys his brandy. His bride-to-be, ELIZABETH PEABODY, has
just entered the room. The guests have left, they are alone.

KYLE (grinning): Such a lovely evening! I think everything went according to our plan, don’t
you think so, my dear Elizabeth?

CATE (pensively): According to our plan… whatever that means.

KYLE (chuckling): Darling, don’t you sound positively gloomy! I meant our guests – they were
eating right out of your graceful hand, that’s all I’m saying.

CATE (pouring herself a Scotch): Maybe I don’t want to hand feed anyone, have you thought of
that, Rex darling?

KYLE (raising his right eyebrow): Aren’t you in a funny mood... Surely you must know the effect
you have on other people.

CATE (clinking the ice cubes in her tumbler): As a matter of fact I don’t but I’m sure you will
undoubtedly tell me.

KYLE: Darling, darling... of all times to get so edgy – it’s the eve of our wedding, the eve of the
beginning of our fabulous life together!

CATE: The eve of the beginning… so nothing’s really started yet, is that what you’re saying?

KYLE (tutting): Now you’re being mean, splitting hairs, my love… but in a way you do have a
point because I am an old-fashioned kinda guy. I do believe marriage changes people, it demands
a change, a strict reappraisal of values, for instance.

CATE (fiercely): I have no clue as where you stand, dear Rex. All you seem to want to talk about
is me as some sort of a cold, unfeeling paragon of virtue.

KYLE (chuckling): Well, if the shoe fits… But no, seriously, what’s wrong with me wanting to
celebrate the wonder of you, darling Elizabeth? I am willing to grant you the appreciation you so
fully deserve.

CATE (angrily): I have no wish to be celebrated as the eighth wonder of the world...[pausing to
think] and I have no use for any appreciation either.

KYLE (taken aback): What are you saying? No use – for me? I must have misunderstood your
point here…

CATE (wiping her forehead in anguish): For once you’ve understood me completely... I guess
there’s a first time for everything… [gets up to leave] I’ve made a terrible mistake…

--

Rooney waited patiently for Cate to finish her scene. Seeing her approach, her face lit up. “Good
job,” she said trying not to smile too widely in front of everyone.

“Thanks,” Cate beamed. “I think it went well. Finally.” They stood in the doorway, neither one of
them knowing what to say next. When the silence became unbearable, they both blurted their real
life lines out at the same time.

“You go first,” Rooney chuckled, her dimples denting her cheeks irresistibly. “You have
something in your mind?”
“As a matter of fact, yes,” Cate started apprehensively. “I thought we could have like a… date…
you know?”

“A what..?” Rooney asked not really certain if she’d heard her right the first time.

“Well, a date – it’s Saturday, after all… that’s what people do at weekends, right?” Cate sounded
nervous.

“We can do that. We can absolutely do that. A great idea.” Rooney kept nodding her head for far
too long. “Let’s make a quick detour first, though. I need something from my room.”

They sat in a less than half-empty cinema – a first time for them together. When the lights were
dimmed, Cate took Rooney’s hand and stroked it with her thumb. It feels so tender, so sweet,
Rooney mused. This is good… we’re just like any normal people having a date on a Saturday
night.

She raised their joined hands on her lips and kissed Cate’s fingers gently. Doing so, she became
aware of something very familiar and shot a quick glance at Cate who pretended to be following
the events on the screen. “Oh, really!?” Rooney whispered unnecessarily hotly in her ear. “You
didn’t wash your hand, now did you?”

A sly smile lingered on Cate’s lips. She appeared to be finding the movie very interesting. “Why,
Miss Mara, whatever do you mean?” Her attempt to keep her hushed tone serious was
unsuccessful. Truth be told, the plot of the epic they’d chosen to see seemed long-winded already.
So much for being normal people, Rooney acknowledged narrowing her eyes mischievously.

“I’ll show you what I mean,” she quipped sliding her right hand to the front of Cate’s jeans. She
unbuttoned them deftly and glided her fingers in to Cate’s great surprise – or not. Gasping of
delight, Rooney found her all too ready. After a few slow strokes she suddenly pulled away and
placed her glistening fingers on the arm rest. “Great movie…” she mumbled tossing popcorn into
her mouth with her innocent hand. “I especially liked the opening.” She was very aware of Cate
staring at her fingers. “It just sucked you right in, didn’t it?” I love going to the movies.

“So far I’m somewhat unimpressed,” Cate exhaled straightening her shirt impatiently. “There’s
something missing but I just can’t put my finger on it…” Slowly, Rooney turned to look at Cate.
The fuck with this woman, she smiled mischievously.

“You’ll get the hang of it soon… you’re just not used to the foreign tongue,” Rooney replied
turning her attention once more forward. Sensing Cate already squirming in her seat, she slid one
of her moist fingers inside her mouth and sucked it suggestively.

“Baby…” Cate’s pleading voice oozed honey. “Can we go now?” They’d been in the cinema for
a whopping fifteen minutes.

“No,” Rooney decided her eyes not yet abandoning the screen, “I have a better idea.” She turned
to face Cate enjoying every delicious second of her urgency. “Push your pants down…” she
murmured in her ear.

“What..?” Cate hissed her eyes darting all around in the darkness, scanning if anyone had heard
her unnecessarily vocal outburst.

“There’s no one behind us, and the few people other than us are way over there in the front…”
Rooney whispered sucking her earlobe in passing. “Do as I tell you or there won’t be any seconds
in the hotel either.” Her hand finding its way under Cate’s shirt, she bit her neck leaving a mark
and a wet trail just below the jawline. She helped her to yank the jeans down and got down on
her knees in front of her. “One more thing…” Rooney added, “If you stop narrating the film to
me, I’ll quit as well.” Cate caught a glimpse of her wicked grin just before it vanished between her
thighs.

I don’t fucking believe this, surged through Cate’s dizzy brain as she felt Rooney’s mouth taking
her in. She could hear her own heavy breathing although it was mercifully muffled by the plush
fabric of the rows of seats before her.

“I can’t hear you…” Rooney complained her articulation somewhat garbled.

“It’s a…” Cate huffed her chest heaving, “…penetrating drama…” The images flashing on the
screen hardly made sense to her, Rooney’s flat tongue lapping in her wetness. “A lot…” she
continued grabbing Rooney’s head from both sides and pressing it harder against her heat, “…to
absorb.” Cate tilted her head momentarily trying to catch her breath.

“What else?” Rooney’s head popped up her chin coated with Cate’s juices. Her hooded eyes were
gleaming with amused desire. She insisted Cate keep her end of the bargain.

“Bloody hell…” Cate started, thrusting her hips towards Rooney’s face. She wouldn’t last too
long under these circumstances. “A gorgeous movie…” she panted finding the perfect rhythm to
grind against her lover’s head, “…licks all the others…” Just as Cate was fumbling for the
appropriate words to point out its unmistakable Oscar quality, she felt the sharp edge of her
sudden climax shave off the last remnants of her restraint. Rooney secured her hold of Cate’s
buttocks and kept her pressed against her mouth as long as it took for her spasms to slacken.

Dabbing Cate’s thighs with gentle kisses, Rooney looked up at her, the inimitable green eyes
beaming with happiness and pride. “I love you, baby.”
Nothing But the Truth

New York, USA, late August 2017

“Welcome to this special edition of 20/20. Tonight I have two very famous, very accomplished
women here with me to share their thoughts and bare their souls on the issue that has taken the
entertainment industry as well as their fans by storm…” TV camera panned slowly from Diane
Sawyer to encompass both her, Cate and Rooney in its scope. “Welcome, Cate… welcome,
Rooney.” Her smile was warm and encouraging.

“Thanks for having us, Diane,” Cate acknowledged wiping a strait of loose blonde hair back to its
place. Rooney acquiesced to nod, her dimples brave and confident.

“Your new feature film, Anything But Love, will open the Toronto International Film Festival in a
couple of weeks. However, you only finished the shoot quite recently – any thoughts on that?”
Diane addressed her opening remark to Rooney.

“Well, it’s an incredibly tight schedule for any film so I guess the festival crowd will more or less
be our test audience,” Rooney joked amused. “No, but seriously, we’re happy to have this early
opportunity to get the first impressions before its commercial run.” She glanced at Cate hoping she
would pick up on where she’d left.

“It was a labour of love from the very first scene filmed and I, for one, am eager to see how it’ll be
received by the premiere audience,” Cate completed crossing her legs and settling back in her
chair.

“Talking about labour of love…” Diane started after a meaningful pause…

New York, USA, late August 2017 (the day before 20/20)

Two shadows mistaken as one moving on a bed, the night held its silent breath. “Oh baby… I
love you,” Rooney murmured to Cate as she watched her open her legs for her. Transfixed,
Rooney observed Cate finding her own mound, twirling her fingers in the moist blonde curls,
never losing eye contact with her lover.

“Do you like that, baby?” Cate asked her voice thick with arousal. Her beautiful hand spreading
its slender fingers, she started stroking her own slit slowly. “You like what you see?” Her middle
finger sliding between her glistening folds, Cate’s words came out intermittently like bursts of
spring water.

“God, yes…” Rooney gasped swallowing again and again. Her chest had begun to heave, and her
face felt almost numb due to lack of oxygen. She couldn’t part her eyes from the lovely sight, from
the arousing act right within her reach, and she wanted desperately to get into the game. Rooney
shifted restlessly, painfully aware of her throbbing groin. A trickle of her own juices startled her
inner thigh; somehow it had managed to burst through her rigid, swollen lips. “Please, baby…”
she begged sliding her hand over Cate’s knee. Rooney’s mouth was watered and parched at the
same time, her brain abuzz with the unbridled need to take over, to replace her lover’s hand with
her own seething fingers.

Cate grabbed her wrist with her free hand. “No, baby…” she groaned painstakingly, “I want you
to fuck me hard. Really hard…” She gestured towards the bed side table. Grasping the full
meaning of her words, Rooney was jolted, nearly jarred out of her already fragile mind.
Impenetrable lust lacing her senses, pervading every cell of her body, she pulled the drawer out to
grant Cate her request. Her hands trembling of desire, she strapped the well-endowed leather
harness on.

Panting hard, Cate watched Rooney lube the impressive cock strapped to her crotch. Every slick
stroke of her lover’s hand on its silicone surface made the wait even more insufferable. “I need it,
baby…” she whined fingering her opening, and the mad flush it evoked in Rooney, the fucking
tsunami of reckless abandon, was almost too much to bear.

Her eyes glazed and dark, Rooney pulled Cate closer and teased her entrance with the glistening
tip of her dildo. She tried to keep it together as long as she possibly could aware of only Cate’s
yearning, of her increasingly impatient moves to get her to slide it all the way in. “I’m going to
fuck you now, my love…” Rooney grunted pushing her erect cock in slowly but surely. “…just
the way you want it.”

Two bodies moving in perfect sync, Rooney thrust in again and again eliciting the sweetest of
moans and whimpers out of her one true pairing. Their eyes locked, captured by the intense build-
up only lovers can share, she relished every deepening, surging contact with Cate. Holding on to
her hips, she sensed Cate starting to tremble, to cave in to her fast, precise thrusts unleashing the
savage pleasure embedded in her. Fingers digging into her buttocks, Rooney heard Cate cry out
her name as the deluge of her driven desire tipped her over the final edge.

Breathless and spent, they lay in each other’s arms. What had only a moment ago given them both
such pleasure made them laugh now. “Take it off, baby,” Cate chuckled after the rubber thingy
had accidentally poked her on the thigh. “I want you close, my love.”

Grinning, Rooney took the harness off and pulled herself next to Cate. She inhaled her fragrance,
the blonde hair grazing, caressing her temple. “Is this real or am I going to wake up in the morning
to find you gone?” she whispered in her ear.

“This is real, my love,” Cate murmured wrapping her arms tighter around Rooney. “This is as real
as it gets.”

Philadelphia, USA, July 2017

“Okay, we’re going to shoot the climactic scene between Liz and Cassandra next,” Todd started
forming the sentences in his mind as he was speaking. “Cate and Rooney, are you ready?”

Smiling, both women nodded at their director. “We’re good to go,” Cate confirmed winking her
eye at Rooney who seemed to be in a fabulous mood.

“Great!” Todd beamed relieved to see his leading ladies in good terms once again. He had
dreaded this particular scene, worried that the strain so evident between them would spoil the
chemistry the upcoming scene so badly required. “Let’s roll.”

--

Peabody and DeWitt Meet, Scene 99, Take 1

EXT. PEABODY POOL HOUSE, BY THE POOL. NIGHT.

Alone, C.O. DEWITT stands by the pool gazing at the moon. The night of the rehearsal dinner
already lit by dawn’s glimmering light, she contemplates leaving when ELIZABETH PEABODY
suddenly appears.
--

CATE: You’re still here…

ROONEY (getting ready to leave): My apologies, I was just about to leave. I won’t bother you
again.

CATE (hastily): PLEASE… don’t…

ROONEY (taken aback): It’s very late... or rather early, and you have a wedding to attend to
tomorrow – your own, remember?

CATE (apologetically): I haven’t forgotten anything...

ROONEY (scoffing): Well, it’s good to have your priorities right. Your earlier amnesia had me
worried for a second…

CATE (interrupting): I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN A THING, NOT A THING!

ROONEY (angrily): I don’t much care for these kinds of games, Miss Peabody. I’m not much of
a player, I’m afraid. Truth be told, I tend to lose every single time.

CATE (pleading): I don’t want to be Miss Peabody to you, my… darling. Please, please forgive
me, I’ve been such a fool, such a complete moron…

ROONEY (sits down confused): I don’t understand...

CATE (nervously): I am a card shark who no longer wants to be a fraud – a card shark who found
the love of her life on a cruise ship and who hasn’t stopped thinking about her for one minute.

ROONEY (amused): So I’m talking to Vera this time… how very convenient. And Elizabeth is
getting married tomorrow. You have really outsourced this character business of yours.

CATE (desperately): No one is getting married tomorrow, least of all Elizabeth. She’s a terrible
fake and a liar… she lies to everyone and most of all to herself.

ROONEY (puzzled): I am not to be toyed with, Miss Whoever-You-Are.

CATE: I wish to do no such thing... Cassandra.

ROONEY: You know my name…

CATE (softly): Cassandra. Ophelia. DeWitt. Music to my ears, sweet tunes to soothe my heart
and soul…

ROONEY: I’m confused. Reeling with pain and… and…

CATE (whispering): What..?

ROONEY (almost inaudibly): …renewed hope.

New York, USA, late August 2017

“Labour of love…” Diane Sawyer repeated. “There’s a tabloid headline for tomorrow, don’t you
think?” She said it good-naturedly, and even Rooney found her phrasing acceptable. “You two
make the most popular paparazzi target nowadays, and having seen those unfortunate intrusions
upon your privacy plastered everywhere, the interest in you won’t be fading any time soon.”

Cate shifted in her seat but she managed to look calm despite what Diane had just said. “We are
here to set the record straight…” Finding her expression funny, Rooney coughed involuntarily and
it made Cate smile. “…to tell you like it is – all truth and nothing but the truth, you know?”

Diane Sawyer leafed through her notes before continuing. “The truth…” she started, “What is it
and where does it start? I think we need to establish that first.” The cameras zooming in to both
Cate and Rooney, the former was suddenly overcome with emotion. Rooney placed her hand
gently over hers. My turn.

“The truth is that we love each other and we intend to keep on loving each other.” Her voice was
level and strong, and its relaxed confidence reached Cate through their joined hands.

“It’s been a long journey,” Cate continued determinedly, “and it all started in Cincinnati in
2014…”
Pilgrim Soul
Chapter Notes

Okay, at first I meant to finish this fic after this chapter but there will be one more
after this. I feel it needs it so here ya go...

Peabody-Evans Wedding, Scene 104, Take 1

INT. PEABODY MANSION, AFTERNOON.

ELIZABETH PEABODY and C.O. DEWITT wait in the wings as the wedding guests pour in.
ELIZABETH is very troubled by the festive sight but CASSANDRA appears calmer.

--

CATE (fretting): How am I going to break it to them or to my father? All the money he’s spent to
see his daughter finally married and happy.

ROONEY (soothingly): Relax, my love... it’s hard to face the reality if you’ve hardly slept a
wink.

CATE (tenderly): You are my reality… and what we did last night in the pool house made it even
more real… wonderfully so.

ROONEY (smiling): I can’t think of anything else… how you looked in bed, your radiant body
caressed by the moon…

CATE (blushing slightly): Caressed by you, my love, only you.

ROONEY (pulling her close): I like the sound of that… and we will have more of it once we’ve
cleared things here. It’s time to let the world to know.

CATE (growing determined): You’re right, and I’m ready. Will you be there in the crowd as
well?

ROONEY (softly): Of course, my love. My eyes won’t leave you for one second. I will watch
over you and sweep you away if need be.

THE WEDDING GUESTS WAITING, ELIZABETH STEPS IN TO DELIVER HER


MESSAGE. THE FIRST NOTES OF A WEDDING MARCH ARE HEARD BUT SHE
RAISES HER HAND TO STOP THE MUSIC. A CONFUSED MURMUR GOES
THROUGH THE CROWD.

CATE (apologetically): My friends, my family… there will be no wedding today…

THE COLLECTIVE MURMUR GROWS EXCEEDINGLY VOCAL.

CATE (raising her voice): I am to blame for all of this, and I beg for your forgiveness for making
you come here today… however, I won’t apologize for my reasons of not going through with
what would’ve surely been the biggest mistake of my life…
A VOICE FROM THE CROWD (BELONGING TO PEGGY FIRESTONE AKA SARAH):
Thank God!

ANOTHER, RANDOM VOICE: What?!? No wedding???

CATE (addressing the unknown speaker): No, I’m afraid not. My heart and my mind belong to
another…

THE REST OF HER SENTENCE IS DROWNED BY THE GENERAL UPROAR UNTIL


ANOTHER NEW VOICE TOWERS ABOVE IT.

ROONEY (looking around confidently): You want a wedding? What’ll you know, I want a
wedding too… if that’s alright with you, darling Elizabeth?

CATE (overcome by emotion): YES! I mean… Would you?

ROONEY (smiling tenderly): Yes, yes I would.

THE CROWD FALLS SUDDENLY SILENT. ONE COULD ALMOST HEAR A PIN
DROP. CASSANDRA JOINS ELIZABETH IN FRONT OF THE LUSH FLOWER ARC.

ROONEY (grinning at Sarah): I need a ring goddammit!!!

SARAH (hastily pulling one out of her own finger): Here, take it, my friend!

CATE (beaming with happiness): It’s time to get this party started… Music, maestro!

HER EYES FILLED WITH HAPPY TEARS CATE LOOKS AT ROONEY AS THE MUSIC
STARTS TO PLAY. THEY LEAN INTO A LONG LOVING KISS. FADE OUT – THE
END.

--

“Cut! It’s a wrap!” Todd exclaimed enthusiastically yet it seemed to have no effect on Cate and
Rooney who were still lost in the kiss. In fact their lip lock only seemed to intensify as Cate
pressed Rooney even tighter against her body. “Ahem..?” The expression on Todd’s face was
priceless. “You want to do the scene again…?” Rooney took hold of the back of Cate’s head and
thrust her tongue even deeper into her mouth. The rest of the film crew, the entire surrounding
world, faded away, drifted far from the point of their hungry encounter.

“Todd…” Sarah started seeing his confusion over the unexpected sight, “why don’t we, you and
I, go and have a bite to eat…” Staring at the lovers, Todd didn’t seem to hear her at first. “Todd,
are you coming?” Sarah’s voice was calm yet commanding.

“I don’t understand…” Todd grumbled in disbelief. Reluctantly he let Sarah pull himself away
from the set.

“I know, my friend, and it’s okay,” Sarah consoled him glancing at Cate and Rooney still
devouring each other out in the open. By now the crew was tiptoeing around their prolonged kiss
shutting off gear and turning off lights. “I’ll fill you in.”

Philadelphia, USA, late July 2017

“I think we need to address what just happened.” Todd had summoned both Cate and Rooney to
his room. Phyllis and Christine were present as well. “I want to know what just happened.”
Sarah’s explanation, as thorough as it had been, had still left him with far too many questions.

“I don’t think it’s any of your business,” Rooney snapped at him. She was irritated by the set-up –
by being called to answer any questions regarding her relationship with Cate.

“Rooney, please,” Phyllis pleaded with her, “whatever happens between you and Cate in private
is of course your business but don’t be naïve thinking this wouldn’t have at least ripple effects on
the film as well.” She glanced at Christine who nodded her agreement. “Your… ahem, intense
behavior on set has already let the proverbial cat out of the bag, and I’m sure we all read about it
tomorrow in one form or another.”

Christine was ready to jump in. “I am happy for you two, I really am, but as far as the marketing
of the film is concerned we need to contain the situation, to own it.” An experienced indie
producer, she was very calm. There wasn’t a lot she hadn’t already encountered in her long career.

“I know,” Cate admitted looking at Rooney who appeared not only angry but nervous as well.
“It’s not like we haven’t thought of it but I think we can turn this to our favor.” She hoped she
sounded convincing enough.

“Steven wasn’t happy when Tom went on Oprah to promote War of the Worlds and ended up
jumping on the couch…” Todd muttered under his breath.

“Really, Todd??? You’re comparing us to Tom Cruise?” Rooney scoffed shifting in her chair. She
looked as if she was ready to jump all over him.

“No one’s comparing you or Cate to anyone, least of all to Tom Cruise,” Phyllis hastened to
clarify. “Todd’s just worried this could distract people’s attention away from the film itself, and it’s
not an unwarranted fear either.” As far as Rooney was concerned, she knew she was treading on
thin ice. She looked at Cate instead.

“Do you have something in your mind already?” Cate asked compliantly. She grabbed Rooney’s
hand to assure her that everything was alright. Take it easy, my love.

“First of all you need to know what you’re getting yourselves into,” Christine stated seriously. “I
suspect you do since I don’t peg either of you as a person pulling a stunt like this frivolously…”
The word stunt made Rooney wince but she took comfort in Cate’s strong hold of her hand.

“This is no stunt, believe me,” Cate replied calmly, “and we’ve come to the point where we have
absolutely nothing to hide. Maybe the kiss was ill-advised but we’re ready to stand behind it…
aren’t we, darling?” She smiled at Rooney hoping to inject some of her hopeful determination in
her as well.

“Yes,” Rooney acknowledged looking seriously at Todd, Phyllis and Christine. “We are ready to
do whatever it takes to properly come out with our relationship. The people most important to us
are aware of it already.”

New York City, USA, mid-July 2017

The shoot almost over, Cate and Rooney had a couple of days off. They traveled to New York
together but this time it wasn’t for a holiday, far from it. “Are you going to be alright, darling?”
Cate asked as they were waiting for their luggage at Newark.

“I’ll be fine, it’s you I’m more worried about,” Rooney replied. The thought of Cate meeting her
children and having a serious talk with them rattled her to no end.
children and having a serious talk with them rattled her to no end.

“Don’t be. I can handle it. I know my boys.” Truth to be told she was sick with worry yet she
didn’t want Rooney to fret about it more than she already did. “I’ll see you at your place later
tonight, okay?” Attempting a smile, Rooney nodded. After a quick peck on Cate’s cheek, she was
gone.

“I don’t fucking believe this!” Kate was beside herself. The abridged Rooney family conference
was in full swing though it wasn’t going exactly the way Rooney had envisioned it. “You must be
out of your fucking mind falling for that unreliable Aussie diva again!” Tight-lipped, Rooney just
kept watching her mother who was sitting across the table from her.

“Mind your language, Kate…” Kathleen Mara held onto her coffee mug as if she was afraid it
might fly off the second she let go of it. “She is married and she has four children, one of them
only a toddler,” she commented gravely.

“Do you think I don’t know that?” The frustration in Rooney leapt up violently, angrily. “Do you
honestly believe we haven’t thought about it? That we haven’t thought about all the unavoidable
repercussions our love will have?” She stressed the word love deliberately.

I’m sure you have,” her mother acknowledged calmly. “You are a grown-up and responsible for
your own decisions. Just make sure they are the right ones.” Rooney could tell she was brimming
with heated opinions and sharp questions yet she held them all back – for now.

“Will you talk to Dad?” Rooney asked quietly. Her father was absent and in a way she was
relieved about it. She wasn’t looking forward to that conversation.

“I will if you want me to… although you must talk to him yourself as well,” Kathleen Mara
replied.

“Of course.” Rooney wasn’t going to dodge the issue forever but she knew it would be better to
deal with him after the initial shock had blown over. Maybe I'll do it with Cate.

It was very late when Cate finally made it to Rooney’s apartment. “Baby…” she whispered sitting
next to Rooney who had fallen asleep in her bed while waiting for her. Her face unnaturally pale,
she was swallowing tears.

“Baby, are you okay?” Rooney caressed Cate’s cheeks streaked with apparent anguish. She
helped her out of her clothes and pulled her against her naked body. “Tell me.”

Cate sighed and touched Rooney’s face gently, tracing the solemn forehead with her thumb. “It
was horrible…” she whispered all choked up. “I felt like a monster seeing their sadness and
sorrow,” she confided in Rooney. “They’re so small, so defenseless…” Suddenly it was too hard
for Cate to go on.

“I know…” Rooney said softly. “But it’s not like you’re abandoning them… you will always be
their mother.” Her hands caressed Cate’s back, her fingers crawling up her spine in one
continuous loving motion. “They’ll always have you… baby… why don’t we sleep now?” she
suggested kindly gazing at her blue, watery eyes.

“Please, make love to me,” Cate whispered in her ear instead, “I want you to want me. I need you
to want me.” She pushed her thigh between Rooney’s legs parting them wide open. Cate cupped
her butt from both sides and pulled her on top of her. “Make me cum, baby, make me remember
who I am.”
The last remnants of her slumber withered away, Rooney was aroused by her eager plea. She was
forever surprised by the many faces of their love, by its moods and its methods but as they started
their slow climb up the slope of their longing, she remembered an excerpt of her favorite poem
she’d always loved yet maybe never fully realized until just then.

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

and loved your beauty with love false or true,

but one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

and loved the sorrows of your changing face…


All the Time in the World
Chapter Notes

So, here we go, the last chapter... on Thursday evening I had the pleasure of seeing
Rooney in flesh and even got to ask her a question after the screening of her latest
film at the Toronto International Film Festival. For a few magical seconds her green
eyes were focused on me - I can die a happy woman now!

Please, if you have time - do leave a comment after this finale. I'd appreciate it. Thank
you for staying with me on this roller coaster fic, you've made it truly special and after
many conflicting moments of my own regarding this very story I can honestly say
now that I will miss these "horny idiots in love".

Hugs & kisses <3

Toronto, Canada, 7 September 2017

“Cate! Rooney! Can you turn this way?” The cameras were devouring their every move as Cate
and Rooney walked on the red carpet for the premiere of Anything But Love. They were holding
hands and neither had any intention of letting go. “Can we get a kiss?” Rolling her eyes, Rooney
cast a quick glance at whoever had asked for it. Come on… But it wasn’t anything out of the
ordinary, they had already gotten used to that request.

The tabloids as well as the gossip sites were flooded with pictures of them leaving their apartment,
entering their apartment, sneaking out of their apartment… and there was also the photo of them
kissing when they’d been absolutely positive no one was watching. A freaking tele lens had
captured their intimate moment and gone viral the next day. The headline “Anything But Chaste”
accompanied with a shot of a passionate open-mouthed kiss seemed to follow them everywhere.

“How the fuck do they do that?” Rooney had complained to Cate. “I don’t fucking get it…” she
had sighed furrowing her brow.

“What can you do…” Cate had scoffed, “It comes with the territory.” A slow smile had crept on
her lips. “It was a very nice kiss though…”

Todd joined them on the red carpet to give interviews before they stepped inside the cinema.
“Todd, I bet you’re excited about tonight but how do you feel about your two leading ladies
finding love on set? Twice already!” The journalist wasn’t mincing words.

“Love is love, and I’m all for it, but we are here to promote the film,” Todd replied dryly. He was
so fed-up with answering questions that had nothing to do with his movie yet he managed to
remain calm and courteous about it.

“Jack darling, Todd is right,” Cate hastened to interrupt a potential follow-up question, “tonight’s
for Anything But Love and I, for one, am so proud of it. It is Todd’s masterpiece, a magnificent
show of his impeccable eye for the genre he chose to reinvent and revitalize.” With that she waved
her goodbye to the adoring crowd and dragged Rooney inside the theatre.
Philadelphia, USA, late July 2017

“Hylda has set a date for us to sit down with Diane Sawyer,” Cate revealed to Todd, Phyllis and
Christine. “We’re hoping to cut wings off of any unnecessary speculations.”

Todd looked pensive and refrained from saying anything. He was a bit afraid of Rooney’s
reaction should he really say what was coursing through his agitated mind. “I think it’s a good
idea,” Phyllis said after a while. “Maybe it’ll be enough to separate your story from the film’s
eventual reception.”

“There is some synergy to be found here as well,” Christine commented sharply. “If you’re
willing to do the rounds with the gay and lesbian media?” She paused for a moment before
continuing. “Beginning with the journalist Rooney ended up insulting…” Cate cast a fearful eye at
Rooney who flinched remembering the incident.

“Ahem…” she started, “I guess I could do that.” Her words brought about a collective breath of
relief. “And I suppose we could do the rounds as well… what the heck, let’s go for it.” Cate
beamed at Rooney. I’m so proud of you, baby.

New York, USA, 1 September 2017

Rooney was busy packing when she heard her cell beep.

EVERYTHING OKAY, BABY? GOOD TO GO AT 2 PM?

She typed her answer in a hurry.

YEAH. EDIE’S NAPPING. ANDREW WILL PICK US UP IN AN HOUR.

They were planning to spend the Labor Day weekend with Rooney’s family. She was nervous to
put it mildly – the long weekend was to be the very first for their extended families to get together.

DON’T BE NERVOUS, EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST FINE. I LOVE YOU.


X

Rooney couldn’t help but smile at Cate’s text. She felt better already. The publicity after the Diane
Sawyer interview had been overwhelming and there was no end in sight – it had also rendered her
talk with her father somewhat redundant. Although they hadn’t yet addressed the issue privately
he had agreed to have them over for the entire weekend. It should count as something, Cate had
pointed out to Rooney when they’d last seen each other five days ago.

She missed Cate terribly and she knew it was to be like this for quite some time. Both of their
shooting schedules were set for a year and a half and nothing could be changed at this point.
“We’ll just have to make the best of it,” Cate had said, “Keep making time for one another any
chance we get, okay?” She had been so positive about it her confidence had rubbed on Rooney as
well.

“The next projects we’ll choose will be based on mutual agreement,” Cate had stated. “I want us
to be together as much as possible – I want to be there for you as much as I want you to be there
for me.”

Rooney couldn’t have agreed more with her. She wasn’t going to let their relationship be ruined
by prolonged absences leading to inevitable estrangement any more than Cate did. “We’ll make it
work,” she had confirmed even though she knew how tricky it was going to be. I want this to
work, I need this to work. Smiling, she sent Cate one more text.
I MISS FUCKING YOU, BABY.

She added one more sentence.

I MISS YOU.

She got her answer very quickly.

GOD, BABE… I NEED YOU INSIDE ME SO BAD.

Reading it, Rooney drew a quick breath.

SOON, BABY, SOON…

Toronto, Canada, 7 September 2017

“Let’s give a warm welcome to our guests – director Todd Haynes and his stars Cate Blanchett
and Rooney Mara!”

The audience present at the Princess of Wales Theatre gave a standing ovation to the trio joining
the festival host on the stage for a Q&A.

“First of all, thank you so much for coming here tonight,” the festival director started, “and
secondly, thank you for this exquisite treat we’ve just been privileged to see.” The smile on his
face was genuinely excited. “What a breath of fresh air it was, something quite unexpected
nowadays – Todd, would you like to elaborate on how you came up with the idea of a screwball
comedy at this day and age? Your film is not only a delightful homage to cinematic geniuses such
as George Cukor and Preston Sturges but also a masterful reworking of the themes so prevalent in
the genre at its hey day in the 1940s…”

Cate and Rooney sat next to Todd as he started his opening remarks on the film the audience
seemed to have enjoyed a great deal. Cate had trouble concentrating on his words her mind
wandering over the past months, the changes that had taken place in her life in rapid succession.
Still, it hadn’t been all that quick and unexpected after all for she had embarked upon this trail
already in 2014, she acknowledged. She looks so fragile yet she’s anything but, Cate thought
glancing at Rooney who shifted anxiously on her chair.

Flashing her dimples briefly, Rooney caught Cate’s eyes. She wasn’t comfortable appearing
before an audience, she never was, but she was happy to do it with Cate. There’s nothing I
wouldn’t do with you or for you. She was also relieved to know that this Q&A was to be strictly
moderated as far as the questions from the audience were concerned. No prying into their far too
publicized love life.

“Cate, can you tell us a bit about the experience of working with a team you already knew very
well?” The interviewer was careful not to go into specifics, Rooney noted thankfully.

“It was of course to all of our benefit,” Cate admitted, “especially since our shooting schedule was
tight to begin with.” Hesitating, she paused for a moment. “All in all it’s great to work with people
you’re familiar with… like with Rooney…” she continued a wicked little smile gracing the
corners of her mouth, “Well, as I’m sure you all know by now, we do have an amazing
chemistry… on the set.” Rooney’s eyebrows jumped up as the audience burst out in laughter. I
can’t believe what you just said! She was flummoxed for a while but when she noticed that even
Todd was trying to suppress a nervous chuckle, she melted into a lovely smile. Fine… if that’s the
way you want it.
“So, Rooney, do you share Cate’s sentiment?” the host of the evening asked emboldened by
Cate’s surprising words.

“Oh, sure…” Rooney started, “Cate’s a pleasure to work with, so welcoming at all times.”
Giggling somewhat hysterically, Todd palmed his face. By now the audience was roaring with
laughter.

Grinning, Cate just gazed at Rooney seriously amused. I guess I should’ve seen that coming. “I
think we’ve established our working relationship, haven’t we, honey?” she quipped lovingly
grabbing Rooney’s hand. Once we’re back in our room I will fuck you senseless.

Bedford, USA, 1 September 2017

“Welcome.” Kathleen Mara shook Andrew’s hand as he got out of the car. Rooney was still
hovering over Edith unfastening the safety belt of her seat. Before they were ready to join the
others she noticed Cate with her boys standing next to her father. The sight made her blush
involuntarily.

“You need help in there?” Kate peeked in to see what was keeping her sister.

“Oh, we’re okay…” Rooney mumbled self-consciously. She deliberately avoided Kate’s stare,
which she guessed to be seriously amused by now. “Did Andrew get the bags? All of them?” she
asked only to fill the uncomfortable air between them with meaningless babble.

“He got them alright,” Kate confirmed. “By the way, Dad’s already quite smitten with Cate…”
she added winking her eye at Rooney. “And even though I hate to admit it, I don’t think she’s too
bad either.”

“How very gracious of you…” Rooney grumbled filling her lungs with fresh air. The change of
scenery affected her tremendously although it wasn’t so much the reunion with her hometown that
brought it about – no, it was seeing Cate intermingling with her family, with her past so
effortlessly.

“Okay, Edie… let’s go say hi to Mama…” Rooney picked the little girl up in her arms and started
towards the front door. Sleepy after the car ride, Edith wrapped her arms absentmindedly around
Rooney’s neck and wound straits of brown hair around her little fingers.

As they approached the house Rooney’s heart was pounding hard and heavy, its every beat a
wish, a prayer for warmhearted jollity, a few days of congruity and maybe even bliss. Dare I hope
for it?

Cate met them half way. “I’m so happy to see you, darling,” she murmured to Rooney. “Hey,
Edie…” The sight of her daughter clinging to her beloved filled her with happiness she had
thought she’d lost for good. Cate beamed at Rooney and without giving it another thought kissed
her gently on the lips. “Let’s go in, your Mom’s been cooking like crazy, and I think we’re about
to be stuffed…” Rooney reached for Cate’s hand and held onto it all the way inside, smiling
radiantly at her father as the three of them passed him by.

“God, I’m full…” Cate grunted as they had finally retired to their room. It had been a while since
she’d had as good a home cooked meal as she’d eaten tonight. To Rooney’s – and everyone else’s
– amazement Cate had indeed indulged herself with gusto but no one had been quite as pleased
with her appetite as the cook herself – Kathleen Mara had been positively beaming seeing the
effect her food had on ‘Miss Blanchett’.
After Cate’s third helping all titles were dropped for good, and by the end of the evening Kathleen
was sorry to see Cate decline one more brandy her husband Tim was eager to offer her. “Oh my
god, if I’ll have one more I’m sure to make a spectacle out of myself,” Cate had laughed, “and I’m
sure none of you will appreciate my repertoire of Australian folk songs sung off key!” Andrew,
however, was game for yet another tumbler of Scotch.

Taking cue from Cate, Rooney had gotten up to stretch her legs. “Having heard that, I think it is
for the best if we call it a night,” she chuckled her eyes glimmering with tender warmth. The kids
had already gone to bed hours earlier, and she was looking forward to doing just the same. Well,
not exactly the same, she had mused excitedly.

“Too full to sleep, I hope?” Rooney asked coyly as she was undressing in front of her old vanity.

Smiling, Cate looked at her through the mirror. “You bet your tight little ass, darling…” Her blue
eyes flickered expectantly, mischievously. “I recall receiving a rather blunt message today…
something about somebody wanting to fuck me?”

Rooney looked as if she was trying to remember such a confession ever leaving her cell phone.
“Ahem… I believe it said that this certain somebody missed fucking you. There’s a difference,
wouldn’t you say?”

Just as ready to play the game as Rooney was, Cate narrowed her eyes. “Oh we’re splitting hairs,
aren’t we?” she quipped amused. “Let’s just hope no one misses her opportunity to fuck me
tonight by being too clever for her own good.” With that she unhooked her bra and let it drop on
the floor. Very slowly she slid her panties down in her ankles never losing Rooney’s attention as
she did so.

“If I recall correctly the reply had a lot to do with you wanting something inside you?” Rooney
teased Cate taking a few steps closer. She wasn’t wearing anything either. “I might be able to help
you out, ‘Miss Blanchett’…” She was still amused by the initial formality of her parents.

“You think so, Miss Mara?” Cate said feigning surprise. “And what would that entail exactly?”
Hearing Rooney talk dirty always got her juices flowing even though at this time they were
already.

“You being fucked hard on the bed I’ve spent so much time on growing up… and feverishly
masturbating…” Rooney dropped her hand on her groin and let her finger disappear between her
folds suggestively.

The plain gesture accompanied by the lusty reminiscence struck Cate straight between her legs.
“So we’re actually going to do it in your old room?” she gasped curiously.

“Damn right we are,” Rooney confirmed cornering Cate so that she could only retreat to the queen
size bed that awaited them. “Finally it will be put in good use.” She pinned Cate against the
mattress. “Although I’ve had good times in here by myself,” Rooney continued hoarsely,
“especially after a screening of a certain film that dealt with some virgin queen... let’s just say she
was anything but virginal in my fantasy.” She lowered her head to Cate’s chest, to make a point
with her wet open mouth.

For once Cate wasn’t disturbed by Rooney’s teenage obsession over her. As a matter of fact she
found it hot. “What happened…to this queen… in your fantasy?” she managed to utter.

Grinning, Rooney raised her eyes to meet the bluest pools of love and lust she always longed for.
“Oh… the queen – she had this lady-in-waiting who wasn’t very good in waiting, you know…”
she whispered right into her ear. “But she was very good in making her cum all night long.”
Rooney grabbed a red flannel belt spun around one of her teddy bears next to her bed and tied
Cate’s wrists to the slatted headboard. “She was an absolute ruler during the day but a mere slave
at night…”

Helpless to interfere with her lover’s moves in any way, Cate succumbed to Rooney’s absolute
rule. “Spread your legs… wider, wider…” she commanded and Cate obeyed accordingly. “You
ready for me, my queen?” Rooney huffed her eyes darkened to the point of no return. She didn’t
wait for Cate’s answer nor could Cate say anything intelligible in return.

More impatient than ever to fuck her, Rooney leaned down to kiss Cate – this time right on her
lips parting them determinedly with her tongue. While the contact deepened, shot through their
heated centers, she started rocking her hips between Cate’s thighs, slowly at first, taking her sweet
time.

Rooney felt sweat trickling down her back as she savored each thrust of her dripping cunt against
Cate’s inviting, throbbing clit. “You feel too good, baby…” she groaned under her breath as Cate
met her forceful strokes with her synchronized moves. The room was scented heavily with the
intoxicating mix of their conjoined fluids, passionate perspiration and the irrefutable aroma of their
heightened arousal.

Then, exercising almost otherworldly self-control, Rooney withdrew to gaze upon Cate who
could only whimper her objection. “Keep it down, baby,” Rooney murmured, “I don’t particularly
fancy the idea of my parents walking in on us having sex… especially the kind of sex I have in
mind right now,” she continued massaging Cate’s inner thighs in a way that just missed the very
zones Cate wanted Rooney to touch the most.

Rooney flipped Cate over even though she was still tied to the headboard. The soft belt tightened
around her wrists but the slight pain it inflicted on her only excited her more. Cate couldn’t see
what was happening at all and each time she tried to peek behind her, Rooney hissed at her to
keep her eyes glued forward.

“You wanted me inside you, and I really need to fuck you hard – a win-win situation, wouldn’t
you say?” Rooney whispered sliding her hands between the mattress and Cate’s body to cup her
breasts for a moment.

Moaning, Cate welcomed her bold caresses yet she wanted more. “Please, baby, I need it… I need
it now.” She kept lifting her ass suggestively for Rooney who took her time before finally taking
pity on her horny lover. Electrified, Cate felt Rooney enter her from behind, filling her up
completely and then resuming a rhythm of pushes and pulls designed to lead her all the way to the
edge and ultimately beyond.

Staring blindly at a postcard sent to an 8-year-old Rooney from Grand Rapids, Michigan, pinned
on the wall right in front of her, Cate was engulfed in the current of her own making. As always, it
overtook her almost unexpectedly, chewing her in its dizzying vortex before spitting her out in one
walloping thud of ecstasy.

“My lady-in-waiting…” Cate murmured to Rooney affectionately. “I will never keep you waiting
anymore – but I will wait for you forever if I have to.”

Gently, Rooney smiled at Cate tracing her cheekbones, the outlines of her lips. “More living, less
waiting, my love.”

New York, USA, 17th April 2018


“Happy birthday, baby…” Cate smiled bringing a breakfast tray to Rooney who was still in bed.
“The boys and Edie will be here in an hour so I’m afraid we won’t have as much time as we
hoped for…” She looked genuinely sorry to break the news.

“What the hell?” Rooney complained. “But it’s also our fuckaversary ! We need to celebrate it
accordingly…”

“We did celebrate it last night and day before and…” Cate hastened to point out, “well, you
yourself said we should get a head start in case something unexpected came up, and now
something has and, hey, you did get head…” She couldn’t help but giggle at her own wisecrack.

Sighing in frustration, Rooney buttered her toast and patted the place next to her. “Come here, no
sex, I promise since we have no time for it…” As Cate settled next to her, another brilliant idea
struck the birthday girl. “I KNOW WHAT WE CAN DO! Get your laptop – now!” Intrigued,
Cate fetched the desired object and waited patiently for Rooney to share her enthusiasm.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to show you…” Rooney started typing a search word on
Google. “Charlie told me about this a few weeks ago.” Cate’s interest was piqued since they
rarely surfed the Internet let alone took cues from “Charlie the gay bear” to indulge in its
wonders.

“Charlie’s a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan and he stumbled on this story archive because of his
obsession…” Rooney explained. “Anyway, he told me he found this fan fiction site for Carol as
well and what I hear is that some of the stuff is totally off the wall and hilarious…” She clicked
open a link that finally let them inside a vast collection of Carol-related fan fics.

“I don’t fucking believe this…” Cate exclaimed gawking at the list of hundreds of stories
fabricated by their loyal fans over the past few years. “Some dedication, huh?”

Rooney nodded impatiently. “Yeah, yeah, truly impressive… but look at these so called
cooneyfics… the ones that actually imagine us doing it…” She burst out laughing.

“Let me see, let me see…” Cate grabbed the laptop from Rooney who voiced her dissent. “It’s my
laptop,” Cate stated calmly.

“But it’s my fucking birthday!” Rooney protested vocally.

“Okay, okay… we’ll look at them together…” Chuckling at times, growing serious the next
minute, they skimmed the stories inspired by their first film together.

“We never did that…” Cate said pointing at a line in one of the more explicit stories. “But I’m
oddly flattered nevertheless...”

“Yeah, we haven’t – so far… but we totally could, you know?” Rooney’s eyes caught a new even
greener glow. “How much time do we have?”

It was a quarter to kids’ arrival but Cate just loved seeing Rooney so excited and raring to go.

“Darling, we have all the time in the world.”

End Notes
When you start thinking this story is totally bonkers, watch these classic comedies:

PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)


LADY EVE (1941)
BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

Awesome films!

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