Chapter One: On the Prowl

Karen's POV:

I ended "Don't Forget Me" still confused. I just finished my first preview, but Derek said he understood love, making me confused and frustrated during the song. What does that even mean? As the whole cast came out to bow, I looked in the wings. Derek was gone. We all bowed before going backstage.

"You were amazing, Iowa!" Jessica and Sue said in unison while Bobby and Dennis hugged me.

"Thanks, guys. So were you." I smiled at them, taking off the wig.

"We're going to celebrate your first preview tonight at the hotel bar. You have to come." Bobby said, drawing out the last sentence in a pleading tone. I didn't want to really get drunk tonight with all these questions swirling through my head, but I nodded anyways. "Sure."

"Here comes the Dark Lord…" Sam whispered towards everyone and we laughed.

"Karen Cartwright!" Derek bellowed in his thick British accent. Jessica giggled.

"Ooh, he's calling for you." Bobby winked at me before they all went to their dressing room. Derek took my hand gently, pulling me to my dressing room. I had a separate one since I was Marilyn tonight.

"Yes, Derek?" I said, looking at him as I sat in my chair in front of the mirror.

"You were great tonight." He murmured softly to me in a tone he reserved for me only when we were alone.

"Thanks. I'm a bit flustered about something, though. Maybe that made my performance better?" I said, looking at him in the mirror.

"Why would you be flustered, darling?" He said, his tone getting harder as if he was angry at someone. "Was it Dev? Did he bloody hurt you?" He growled.

"Well, that yes, but something else happened tonight. You know what I'm talking about." I said as I removed a bit of my makeup to make it more subtle. He sighed, taking my hair and running his hands gently through it before putting it over one shoulder. "You're very beautiful, Ms. Cartwright. What did Dev do to you?"

I rolled my eyes a bit.

"Don't change the subject on me, Derek. I don't want to talk about Dev. I want to talk about you. What do you mean you understand love?" I turned in my chair, looking at him as he knelt to be the same height as me.

"Well, I'm looking at this woman right now and–" He was cut off with a scream. "Bloody hell, what now?" He muttered, getting up.

"Ivy!" I heard Tom say as I ran past Derek to see where the scream was coming from. It was from the dressing room for the ensemble.

"Someone call an ambulance!" I heard Julia say, but Sam was already on it. I took a deep breath.

"Bobby, do you know what happened?" I said, taking his hand gently to stop him from running out of the building.

"Ivy overdosed, I'm guessing. Her pill bottle was empty. Look, I love that girl, but everyone is still going through with our plans. We all are going to celebrate. Drinking takes away the fear, anyways." He said, freeing his hand from mine and running to catch up with Jess, Sue, and Dennis. I sighed, walking to Julia.

"Do you think she'll be alright?" I murmured. Julia sucked in a breath.

"I know she was going through a hard time since Rebecca and everything, but I don't know. We'll fill everyone in at the next rehearsal. Just go get some rest. You did great." She had a hard, forced smile. I nodded and went back to my dressing room to change.

Slipping into my skinny jeans, shirt and boots, I looked at the dressing room.

"How're you doing, Marilyn?" I heard a whisper in my hair as strong hands were on my shoulders.

"I'm not Ivy or Rebecca, Derek." I rolled my eyes, turning around and seeing someone I wasn't expecting. "Dev?"

Chapter Two: Take A Gamble, It's Safe to Bet

"What're you doing here?" I tried to back away from him, my sight becoming blurred with tears that were threatening to fall all over my cheeks. His grip was too strong. "You're hurting me! Stop, it hurts, stop!" I said the last word, louder than expected.

"Karen? Are you okay, love?" Dev said, putting his hand on my cheek, softly.

"Get away from me!" I slapped him and grabbed my bag, running out of the room. I ran fast before tripping down the stairs. "Crap." I mumbled, looking at my knee. I ripped my jeans and there was a cut, blood seeping through.

"How bad is it?" I looked at where the source of the voice was and saw Derek sit next to me. He had a band aid and a wipe in hand. He couldn't have gotten that so quickly… Well, it was Derek. Derek. Always prepared, ready for action. I smiled a bit, wiping the tears that had spilled down my cheeks.

"Surely you didn't fall that hard, did you?" He looked at my knee, cleaning it and putting a band aid on it. I'm not a child.

"I could've done that myself."

"I know. But you need someone else to do something for you once and awhile." He gave me a little smirk, helping me up.

"You didn't finish what you were saying in my dressing room." I said, walking to the exit with him trailing behind. He finally caught up with me. "It's not important." He shrugged and hailed a cab as we got outside. "It's important to me." He chuckled. "You really want to know?"

"I think I stated that, yes, I do." I got in the cab, him sliding in next to me as I told the driver the hotel.

"Well, it doesn't matter. It's irrelevant."

"No, it's the truth. I'm sensing you don't tell the truth a lot. Don't you?" I looked at him, seeing his face change to shock that I had beaten him at something, anything. He recollected himself, but not quickly enough.

"Karen, are you saying I don't tell the truth?" He said in a hurt voice, teasing me. "That hurts, really. I'm scarred for life now." He put his hand on his heart. Was Derek really teasing me? Was he flirting with me?

"Derek, seriously." I looked at him as the driver stopped at our hotel. Derek paid and helped me out. Chuckling, he led me to the bar inside.

"Don't worry, darling. Now, will you let me buy you a drink?" He grinned, sitting down while gesturing the seat next to him.

"Fine. A Long Island Iced Tea, please." I decided if I was going to be celebrating with Derek, might as well get drunk now. I know he was mature enough not to take advantage of me. Right?

He gave me that smirk. "You do know that has shots of five different alcoholic beverages, right?" He said to me after ordering a scotch.

"Yes, Derek. I know." I said, sitting up. I hope he wasn't going to be rude tonight. I wouldn't remember it anyways, hopefully. I'll be too hung-over tomorrow, I know that. The first time I had one of these was the first week I spent with the ensemble. Jessica ordered everyone one and we were so drunk by our third glass that we could barely stand.

He chuckled when he saw the drink. It had a little umbrella and everything. "Well. Cheers to your first preview." He held up his glass.

"Cheers." I clinked my glass with his and sipped my drink. I didn't notice how thirsty I was till I drank almost half of the glass.

"Slow down, darling." He smiled. "Now what did you want me to tell you?"

I thought back. I couldn't remember very well because my mind was becoming hazy already. This was a fast acting drink. "Something about…Love? Love. Right. You and Love." I looked at him, putting my elbow on the bar and leaning my face into my palm.

"I understand love. There isn't much to explain." He shrugged, taking another swig of his scotch.

"No, don't do that. Don't." I glared at him, taking another sip of my drink.

"Do what, love?" He gave me a slight smirk, raising his eyebrow.

"Seriously." I ordered another drink since I finished mine.

"Karen, I don't know what to say. I answered the question."

Frowning, I took a huge drink from my second glass. "Fine. Whatever, Derek." I got up and was about to walk away before I felt a hand on my wrist, pulling me towards him. I felt myself melt into him. Maybe I had feelings for him or maybe it was the drinks. Whichever it was, I didn't push him away.

"Love, where are you going? You are tipsy in New York at midnight. That would not be very well alone." He whispered in my ear. I didn't know two hours past. Was I really that tipsy? I shrugged and nodded, moving so I was on his lap. It was almost like a spell. Like whatever he said I would do. Grabbing my drink, I finished it.

Karen, stop. This is your director. Stop. He does this to every woman he sees. You just ended your relationship with Dev. Don't do this. My mind said to me. But my heart was whispering, You need to find out if you love him. Or even have feelings for him? Where did love come in? Do you love him? Find out, Karen. Well, I always go with my heart so I stayed put as he wrapped his arms around my waist, slowly rubbing circles into my hips. "Karen, I need to tell you something."

Chapter Three: Let's Be Bad

I looked up at him. "Yes?" I said softly before looking out. I saw Sue and Dennis on the other side of the bar, taking shots while Bobby and Jess sat gossiping at a table, drinking beers. They saw me and Derek, raising their eyebrows. I guess Derek saw who I was looking at and he chuckled softly into my hair.

"Do you know what you're doing with me? I could very well do what I want right now to you. You are drunk." He smirked.

"Are you implying you are going to do something to me?" I raised my eyebrow at him, ordering another drink. I looked down, seeing his hands still massaging my hips.

"You know I wouldn't do that unless you asked me to." He said quietly in my ear. "As much as I want to." He muttered into my neck, his breath hot on my neck.

I sipped my drink, my head foggy. I couldn't think straight. This was Derek, right? Was he being nice? I took his hand, standing up. I fell right on my butt. "Well, clearly you are drunk." He chuckled and picked me up. "Come on." He held me bridal style and walked out of the bar to the elevator.

"Where are…are…" I didn't finish my sentence. He smirked softly and clicked the elevator button. Level twelve. Or was that twenty-one? I looked at him before biting my lip.

"Karen, please, do not bite your lip. You're appealing as it is and this is just making it bloody worse." Derek groaned, looking away from me. I didn't understand what he meant but I did as he said. "What's your room number?" He asked me as we got out of the elevator.

I giggled and played with my hair. "Don't you know, Mr. Director?" I said in my sultry Marilyn voice. "I mean, surely, you should." Batting my eyelashes, I looked at him.

"Darling, I don't know everything." He said and I giggled even more.

"Are you sure? You seem like you do, Director." I drawled out the whole sentence.

"Alright. You're coming to my room." He carried me and opened the door to the room at the end of the hall, the one with double doors. His room was huge.

"Wow. It's so… big." I said, squirming in his arms. I wanted to explore. The bed was the first thing you saw. It was king size with silk sheets. He had a living room with a fireplace and a huge kitchen. He even had two bathrooms!

"Love, I think you should get some rest." He laid me on the bed. Instead, I looked at him innocently and when he didn't do anything I started singing 'History Is Made at Night' to him, sexily.

"History is made at night so close the books turn off the light and listen

Let my heart be the teacher

No one here to disapprove…" I sang to him, never letting my eyes to leave his.

"Karen. Stop." He sat next to me, taking my hands. I knew he didn't want me to stop, though. His hazel eyes showed that he wanted me to continue.

"As we review the lessons you've been missing

Let the moon be our only light

Cause history is made at night…" I continued, my voice surrounding the room. But before I could start the next line, Derek's lips were on mine.

I pulled him on top of me, kissing him. "Finally, you find a better way to tell me to shut up instead of yelling at me." I mumbled as he kissed my neck. I heard him chuckle against my neck as he took off his jacket and mine, throwing them across the room.

He pushed me into the pillows, kissing me. "Are you sure?" He whispered and I nodded. I pulled him tighter to me.

It was obvious he had feelings for me. He tried not to hurt me the whole time and asked if I was okay or if I wanted to stop. His kisses could be rough sometimes, but he made it so it was actually enjoyable. Derek could be a sweet guy.

When it was over, he let me cuddle him. That was the first night for a while I slept all the way through the night.

Chapter Four: Lucky So-And-So

I woke up to my phone ringing in my bag. Looking around, I didn't know where I was and I had the worst headache. "Love, answer your phone before I answer it for you, please." I heard a familiar Brit groan, tiredly. Derek's room?

"Yeah, sorry." I mumbled, getting up and going to my bag, answering it without even looking at who it was. "Hello?" I whispered.

"Iowa!" I heard Jessica and Bobby say in unison on the other side of the phone. "Yeah, guys?" I whispered, looking up to see Derek watching me a smirk painted on his face. I looked down and saw I was fully naked. Grabbing a blanket I wrapped it around myself, walking into the bathroom. "Wait, what was that? Sorry." I said, missing what Bobby said.

"How was the Dark Lord? Awesome? You did do it with him, right?" He repeated. I rolled my eyes and laughed. "I don't know. I don't remember. I'll tell you when I don't have a hangover which may be never." I groaned, looking for Advil. Finding it, I took two. "Okaaay. Well we'll leave you to handle Zoron. Bye!" Jessica said, hanging up.

I walked out of the bathroom and looked at Derek. He looked quite amused. "What happened last night?" I asked him, sitting on the edge of the bed. I still held onto the blanket tightly.

He sat up and I couldn't ignore that he had quite a six pack before I looked back up at him. "Well, you got drunk. Very drunk. Then you wouldn't tell me what your room number was. I planned on letting you sleep but you sang 'History Is Made at Night' to me like Marilyn and I guess you can figure out the rest." He said.

I groaned, running a hand through my hair messy hair. "So, I got drunk, serenaded you, and slept with you?" I said to him, biting my lip. Bits and pieces of last night were coming back with the help of the Advil. My sitting on his lap at the bar, singing to him, how he asked if I was okay whenever he did something rough in bed, cuddling after…

"Yes, darling. I just said that." He chuckled, checking the time on a clock. "We have an hour before rehearsal. If you want you can take a shower." He looked at me. I sighed.

"Regretting last night already? It wasn't that bad, was it?" He winked at me as I lay back on the bed. I didn't know what it was about him. He could be selfish, arrogant and rude, but with me he was sweet, funny, and almost… adorable?

"No, nothing like that. Just the whole ensemble already knows and I don't want you to get in trouble with Eileen." I looked at him, biting my lip again. I did that when I was nervous.

"Please, love. I told you this last night. Don't bite your lip." He kissed my lips softly, stopping me. I thought this would feel wrong. I thought I would feel like Ivy doing this, but it felt right. That kiss calmed me down and I nodded.

"Don't worry, though. I'll make sure everything's fine." He smiled surely at me. "Now what about I get some clothes for you and you take a shower. What's your room number?" He nodded, getting up and putting on jeans and a shirt. I told him before going into the bathroom. I turned on the shower, stepping inside.

I let my worries wash away while I was in there and I used some of the hotel's provided soaps, shampoo and conditioners. After washing my face, brushing my teeth and cleaning my body, I came out twenty minutes later and wrapped a towel around myself, walking out towards the bed. I saw Derek, already showered from the other bathroom, in just jeans. He kissed my neck softly. I blushed and grabbed my clothes.

"I need to get dressed." I went back into the bathroom, blow-drying my hair and getting dressed. This was probably my most sexy rehearsal outfit he chose. My black leggings, nude dancing heels, a white sports bra and an almost see-through purple tank top. Rolling my eyes a bit at him, I teased my hair a little and tossed it into a ponytail. I went back out to the bed, grabbing my bag. I put on my usual makeup, looking into my compact mirror.

"Why do you wear that stuff? You're bloody gorgeous as it is." Derek said from behind me. I blushed.

"Thanks. We need to keep this professional in the theater, though. I still don't know about my feelings to you or towards Dev, yet and Ivy overdosed. There's just too much going on. I don't know how far we'll let this go, but for now, I just need some time." I looked at him, seeing his face fall from his usual grin to what was it? Grief, regret, sadness, anger? Maybe it was all. I sighed, kissing him softly on the lips before walking out.

I turned to look at him once more, knowing I wouldn't see those brutally innocent eyes again and then closed the door.

Chapter Five: Touch Me

As I got to the theater, I ran into Dennis. "Hey, Karen." He smiled at me, opening the theater door for me.

"Thanks." I smiled at him, walking inside. All eyes turned to us. "Why are people staring?" I whispered to Dennis as we took some seats behind the rest of the ensemble.

"They made bets whether you would come in with Derek or not." He shrugged, putting his bag in a seat next to him.

"They sure like to make bets a lot." I laughed softly. "Why would they care that I came in with Derek or not?" I looked at him.

Dennis laughed. "You don't need to act like we don't know anything. We know to keep personal lives out of professional ones and vice versa. Apparently Ivy doesn't, though. I care for the girl, we've been friends forever, but she's way more than unstable." He rolled his eyes, checking his phone before we were all called to attention. "But you have to spill the details about what happened last night to us tonight. We're dying over here." He smirked at me, draping his arm over my shoulders and giving me a squeeze.

"Karen, Dennis, please pay attention. This is important." I heard Julia whisper behind us. I felt like a girl in school getting caught for passing notes in class. I blushed, nodding and looking up to see Derek, Tom, and Eileen on stage. Derek was watching Dennis and me closely until he saw me look at him. When I did, he looked at Eileen.

"Okay, guys. So we all know about Ivy's brush with death, yes?" Eileen said. Some gasps could be heard from the seats. "Or not. Well, Ivy overdosed last night during the final scenes of the preview. If anyone has any information, please tell us. Since we're down one cast member, though, we need to change some scenes and blocking. Rehearsal might be extended tonight, if we have time. Good luck." She said before walking off the stage with Tom.

"Alright. Well, today let's hope we will bloody be able to get this right. Let's start with Smash since Sue will have to take Ivy's spot. After that we'll do Let's Be Bad." Derek said. "Go!" He yelled when no one moved.

Everyone got up and practically ran to get out of Derek's line of fire. Everyone in the ensemble went to the dressing rooms, but I took my time getting up and grabbing my bag. I felt a soft hand on my back and I looked up to see Derek.

"Love, why aren't you in your dressing room, yet?" He smirked. Did he not understand when I said I need time? I couldn't look away from his gorgeous eyes, though. Was he the DiMaggio to my Monroe? Dev wasn't right for me, but maybe Derek was. I know he wouldn't be committed to a family or even marriage, but I'm too young for that. Am I? I was lost in my thoughts when he pulled me out when I heard him say, "Darling? Earth to Karen?" He shook me a little.

"Sorry, I was just thinking." I smiled at him. "I should go to my dressing room, yeah, sorry." I said, almost nervous. Why was I nervous? I felt butterflies and I was blushing. This was like when I was in high school and had a crush on this one guy. I was acting stupid. I needed to act like an adult, but somehow Derek made me feel so jittery. When he touched me it was electric. I took a deep breath and shook my head.

"Sorry. So sorry. I'm a little out of it today, that's all." I blushed even redder and looked down. I heard him chuckle.

"Darling, why are you being so – what is it – jumpy?" He smiled softly at me, taking my hand in his. "Want me to take you to your dressing room? I think everyone's a little rattled today."

"Yeah, I would like that." I smiled. I didn't want to seem like I was sleeping with Derek to be Marilyn, but he was just being a gentleman. I think people understood that. Derek knew to keep everything professional. He did that with Ivy and Rebecca somewhat. He led the way to my dressing room, ignoring some glances of the ensemble.

I walked inside and he came with me, closing the door behind me. "I just had a question about something. How is Sue going to learn everything?" I said, looking at him.

He smirked and put a hand under my chin before kissing me softly. "You memorized the whole Marilyn blocking, dancing, singing and a new song in one day. I think Sue can learn some new dance moves." He smiled, kissing me more.

I giggled. "Derek, we need to keep this professional." I turned mock serious like him before kissing him softly. "You need to direct, Mr. Wills." I pushed him away gently, but of course he was stronger and took my hands, wrapping them around his neck.

"What was that one song you sang that Julia and Tom didn't know about?" He smirked, kissing up my arm.

"Touch me." I whispered and he picked me up, kissing me harder.

"I would gladly love to, but someone said I need to direct." He said, kissing my neck. "But I'll help you with the notes and choreography tonight personally in my hotel room, if you still want me to." He kissed my head before setting me down on the dressing room vanity.

He left the room with me not knowing what just happened. Right as he left, Bobby and Dennis ran into the dressing room. They were total gossips.

"Spill the details now!"

Chapter Six: It's A Man's World

"There isn't much to say, really. I mean, I guess Derek is really sweet and nice…" I trailed off and they both just looked at me.

"Girl, you're in deep. You have to get out before you end up like Ivy. You just ended things with Dev. It's almost Derek is rebound. Is he the rebound? Well." Bobby said, grinning. Dennis pushed Bobby flirtatiously. "Really, though."

"Look, guys, I know what I'm doing. He's really nice, really. Just he's found a better way to tell me to be quiet instead of yelling at me. He's cute." I said without thinking. Blushing, I looked down. I didn't know what I was doing with Derek. I did just break up with Dev. I think I need a reality check fast, because what I was doing with Derek wasn't fair to him. He could just be a rebound guy and he might not even know it. I didn't even know he was until Bobby just said so.

"Karen? Karen?" Dennis was waving a hand in my face. "Did you hear what I just said? I said that you need to get dressed for Let's Be Bad. They finished rehearsing Smash." He smiled at me.

"You can do this, don't worry." Bobby said, giving me a small smile. Dennis and Bobby walked out of the dressing room and I started getting dressed for Let's Be Bad.

Doing the finishing touches to my makeup, I heard the door to my room open. "I'm coming, sorry." I looked over and gave an apologetic smile to Linda. She nodded and walked out.

I looked at myself as Marilyn, fixing my wig before walking out onto stage. "Finally our Marilyn has decided to rehearse! Thank you for gracing us with your presence, Ms. Cartwright!" Derek said loudly. It wasn't really a yell, but more of an angry exclamation. I guess he was keeping it professional. Not babying me like I thought he would.

"Let's take it from Marilyn's entrance!" Derek said. I stood in the back, hearing the ensemble sing "Let's be bad, let's be bad…" before I stepped into the light. I smiled.

"If you say something is taboo,

Well that's the thing I want to do.

Do it till we're black and blue,

Let's be bad."

I sang, but my mind was somewhere else. I missed one step and Derek called me out on it. "Bloody hell! Do I need to teach this to you all over again?!" He yelled, shaking his head. "Let's just take a five. Except for Karen who will practice the choreography." Derek sighed, walking to the stage.

I frowned at Derek while everyone filed back to the dressing rooms. "I messed up once, no one noticed except you." I said to him, crossing my arms over my chest. Derek rolled his eyes. "Are you sure I was the only that noticed? There are always those very observant people in the audience and they would notice. This needs to perfect, darling." He said, looking at me.

He took my hand and showed me how to do it again. I rolled my eyes. "Derek, I know what I'm doing." I said, pulling away from him.

"Are you sure about that?" He smirked. I started walking away when he grabbed my hip, pulling me to him.

"Not here," I giggled. I knew what I was doing was wrong, especially on stage where anyone here could see, but he made me happy. Happier than I was in awhile.

"Right, sorry, love. Keep it professional." He chuckled, letting go of me. He looked at me and then went back up to his area in the seats. "Alright! Let's try this again!" I heard him yell as the ensemble came onto the stage.

Sam came up behind me. "Karen, whatever you're doing with Derek, watch out. He can be a heartbreaker." He said quietly in my ear. I shrugged. "I can handle it."

"I trust you on that. I just don't trust him." He shrugged, walking away. I looked up at Derek who was arguing with Tom and Julia, not unusual behavior. He saw me watching and winked at me before looking at Tom. I noted that every time Derek and Tom argued, Derek would ignore Tom until Tom actually started the argument.

"Let's start from the top before Marilyn's entrance!" Derek yelled and I went over to the wings.

"How are you, Karen? I know Derek can be rude and stuff, but you're doing great, sweetheart. Sorry if I ever doubted you. Just beware; Derek can lose his temper very quickly. Don't do anything with him without thinking of what you're doing first." I heard Tom say next to me after a few minutes of Derek having to re-teach a girl in the ensemble the dance.

"It's okay." I smiled at Tom. It truly was a man's world. I got more advice from men today than I probably have in my life.

Chapter Seven: Never Give All the Heart

The next few weeks were quick and Derek and I acted as usual during rehearsal. But when it was the end of rehearsal or previews, I would usually be with him. Everyone knew but we still acted like nothing was happening.

It was the final preview before we went to New York. Ivy was still in the hospital so Tom was going to stay with her until she got released. Everyone was rehearsing like crazy because after this we were trying to go to Broadway. We were in the middle of practicing Wolf when Derek stopped as all to take a ten. I was walking back to my dressing room when I felt an arm around my waist.

"Karen, love. Are you ready? After this is Broadway." I heard Derek whisper in my ear. I smiled at him. "I'm ready." He gave me a quick kiss before we started up again. We finished rehearsal then the last preview started.

Everyone wished me good luck and it went on like any other preview. It was right before 'Don't Forget Me' that when I was getting in my dress that I heard Eileen talking to Derek in the very back.

"She's bloody wonderful, why would we replace her?"

"She needs to understand the showbiz is hard. Derek we need a star. Karen, she just isn't. When we get back to New York I have some meetings set up to talk to some people." Eileen replied to Derek. It was like a knife in my chest. I thought this could be my big shot at Broadway, but they needed a star.

Taking a deep breath, I walked onto stage and sang. I felt my voice waver on the last belt, but I acted like it didn't happen. Tears threatened to fall, but I had to keep this in until the end.

I went to the wings as everyone else came to bow and then I came out. Bowing, I felt tears slip down my cheeks and then the show was over. Everyone went backstage, but I avoided them all. I went to my dressing room. Derek was already in there, looking through one of my books about Marilyn. "You were amazing, sweetheart."

"Not now, Derek." I said. I saw his smirk fall into a frown.

"What happened, darling?" He looked at me, recollecting his cool. "I heard the applause so it wasn't that and you didn't mess up. Except for the last belt, but no one noticed."

"I know you're replacing me. I heard Eileen and you talking." I said, taking off my wig and throwing it across the room. Derek took my hands in his, a frown forming on his face. "Darling, I told Eileen I wouldn't let her do that. Julia agrees with me. We're trying to stop her, but she already has meetings set up and if she cancelled the meetings anyways, just because, the press would demolish us. Trash us." He looked in my eyes.

This was one of the few moments I saw sincere Derek, kind Derek. I sighed and took off the jewelry, throwing it onto the vanity.

"I'm trying, though. I'm trying to stop her. You're a star. You're my star." He whispered in my ear, pulling me close. "But please do not destroy the damn costumes." He smirked. "You're like ripping them off you. If anyone is ripping off anyone's clothes tonight, I'd rather it be me with you." He winked at me and kissed my head.

"Derek, I need to pack. We're leaving so early." I said, giggling trailed kisses up to my lips. I needed to shower and pack, really. I was leaving the hotel with the ensemble at around eight in the morning, which was early for all of us because we would usually need to be at rehearsals by ten.

"Why don't you leave with me? I'm leaving around noon." He said, sitting back down on the chair by the vanity. I looked at him and shrugged, undressing. I threw the dress at him when he was staring at me.

"Stop staring!" I blushed bright red as I got back into my regular clothes, slipping into my heels. I sat on his lap, looking in the mirror to fix my makeup to be less Marilyn. I felt his arms around my waist, his breath hot on my neck.

"Will you at least accompany me to dinner?" He said softly in my ear. "We haven't had dinner together in awhile." He smiled at me in the mirror. I looked at him and nodded.

"That'd be good, but after that I need to go back to the hotel to pack." I smiled at him, getting up to grab my bag. He nodded and kissed my hand before also getting up. He opened the door for me and I saw Jessica, Bobby, and Sue standing by the door.

"Can we talk to Karen?" Jessica said, giggling.