Director's Cut

By Laura Schiller

Based on: Dangerous Angels

Copyright: Francesca Lia Block

Sunset. Tall grass waving around a lonely ranch. A man and a woman on opposite sides of a log fence, hands clasped across the barrier. He is tall, copper-skinned and ebony-haired, his brown hunting leathers blending in with the wood and the grass. She is tiny, with skin like milk and hair like liquid gold, a turquoise pendant sparkling against her cowgirl denim jacket. Blue eyes stare longingly into brown, he cups her cheek, and even with the fence between them, they seem to melt into each other like ice cream melts into a hot apple pie. Her hands sliding through his silky black hair, his hands on her face as if holding a jewel, her spurred boot rising slowly up from the grass …

"And cut!" Max ordered, snapping his director's signal with more force than strictly necessary.

"Okay, Mr. Perfect." Weetzie stepped back from Coyote and rolled her eyes, even as her mouth twitched with amusement. "What is it this time?" Coyote's glint of humor silently echoed hers.

"We've been shootin' all day, man," Valentine chimed in from behind the camera. "Can't we take a break?"

"Just … " For reasons he did not care to examine, Max's ears turned hot. "Just take it down a notch or two with the kissing, okay?"

"If I recall correctly," Coyote replied evenly, "The passionate love between the two leads in this scene, transcending racial and cultural barriers as it does, is the keynote of the entire story?"

Max rubbed his forehead against the incoming headache. Weetzie shot him a look of concern.

"Yes, well, that's true," he said, "But remember, this is supposed to be the nineteenth century. Gemma's an innocent farm girl. She's never been kissed."

Weetzie raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow at him across the fence. "Why, honey," she drawled, in the fake Southern accent she was developing for her role. "I'm wearing pants. If I'd known you were going for historical accuracy, I'd be in a hoop skirt faster than you can say 'Bless my heart'!"

He could not help but smile at the adorable image of Weetzie in a hoop skirt. "You know, that's actually a good idea," he said. "We'll ask Ping what she can come up with."

And peace was restored for the time being, but he did not forget. Neither, it turned out, did Weetzie.


"You're a great actress," he told her later that evening, watching her from the bed as she sat at her vanity table. She wore a white silk negligee that shimmered as she raised her arms to take out her hair clips. By the rows of tiny lightbulbs framing her mirror, she looked like a slender Marilyn Monroe. "Very … convincing."

He'd meant it as nothing but a compliment, but something in his voice must have given him away. Weetzie put down her rhinestone barrette with a clatter, glanced over her shoulder and let out an unladylike snort of disbelief.

"Are you … wait, are you jealous?"

"I never said that."

"You are!" And to his utter mortification, his beautiful common-law wife began to giggle.

"Please enlighten me," he said. "How exactly is this funny?"

She wiped her watery eyes with a pink Kleenex. "As if I'd ever cheat on you," she said. "And with Coyote of all people!"

"He is ridiculously handsome," said Max, feeling the absurd need to defend his friend's prospects as a potential seducer. "And I know how much you've always admired the Native traditions – "

Weetzie shook her head, blue eyes still dancing with mirth. "I think you're forgetting a few things," she said. "For one thing, if we were food, I'd be a strawberry Pop Tart and he'd be … I don't know … corn bread. We are so not each other's types. I don't think anyone's his type, actually, didn't you notice?"

Now that she mentioned it, Max did notice. He had never seen Coyote with a lover, male or female, or even heard him mention one. For someone named after the naughtiest character in any Native tribe's mythology, he had always been disconcertingly pure.

"Then what about … how did you … ?"

"I pretended he was you, silly," said Weetzie.

He blushed deeply, remembering that kiss. Her fluttering eyelids, her reaching hands and that little upraised foot presented themselves in a whole new light.

"So … what kind of food would I be?" he asked, smiling up at her, as she rose from her chair and began to saunter towards him with a sway of her hips.

"Coffee," she purred. "Black." The first words he'd ever said to her. "And do you know why?"

"Do tell." He held out his arms, just in time for her to slide right into them.

"Because," she whispered into his ear, "One taste of you will keep me awake all night."

"Did I ever tell you how I love your way with words?"

She kissed him, and a caffeine high was nothing to the tingling rush of energy he felt.

"I know you do, honey-honey. Now shut up."