Winter 2011 – Fabrice is 27 and Elise is 24. Last update: Summer 2010

“Don’t worry so much Fabrice. You’ve been doing great work with us; your knowledge of the art we carry is thorough and from what I’ve seen your editing skills are growing steadily. You need some more practice but it’s actually impressive to see this level of improvement when you account for such a career change.” James Matthews reaches out and shakes the young Frenchman’s hand, a smile on his face. “I know its university policy to intern for only six months but I’m sure the gallery can get around that…if you want to stay.”

Oui! Yes, please. I would love to stay and—mon fils—we’ve started saving for private school.”

“Good, we can discuss a small increase in your salary later today. Enjoy your break and don’t let these women take advantage of you.” He says with a smirk, noting the women who were subtly staring at Fabrice from across the room. “I have to admit you are great for business.”


Fabrice smiles faintly and grabs his espresso, ignoring the appreciative looks a few women cast his way as he takes a seat and stretches his long legs out in front of him. He’s used to the attention, having been blessed with both good looks and a sizable inheritance since his teen years but sometimes he’s still shocked at the amount of attention women show him.

The way they pour into the art gallery for the daily tours he runs and the flirtatious lilt in their voices always puts a grin on his face. They can’t compare to his wife but it reminds him of his old life when he had the strength of the Lemieux money behind him and he didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons of minor purchases. Life was easier then when he didn’t know uncertainty. He starts to feel uncomfortable and exposed in front of the watching eyes and abandons his espresso for the empty gallery rooms downstairs.


Fabrice finds himself examining one of the paintings, studying the disarray of lines which seem to mirror his current life. One decision had changed his relatively linear planned life into a toddler’s drawing of mixed colors and haphazard lines. Working in the art gallery is almost like grabbing that plan again.  No, it isn’t the long decided path he had been placed on since birth but it is a way for him to gain peace again. At least now when he looks in the mirror he no longer sees a stranger’s life playing out around him but his own, almost free of limiting expectations.

He knows that Elise still expects him to stop wasting time, to get a serious job and support their family properly but he knows that this is right for him even if it’s currently leaving him in a constant struggle with his wife. Sighing Fabrice walks toward the editing room, nothing ever seems to work out at the same time.

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Elise smiles faintly at herself in the mirror, reaching a slender finger up to wipe away stray lipstick. Perfection, she thinks. It’s not simply her face or her charm but her ability to create a goal for herself not once but twice and succeed brilliantly.  At the age of 13 when Elise first started making plans to escape poverty, her mother had told her the best she could ever aspire to was a rich man’s mistress and she’d surpassed that by becoming a wife.

Now her dream of being famous is progressing rapidly with her third promotion in less than a year and hopefully her fourth following closely behind if she keeps stroking the directors’ egos along with other things. Her smile becomes fuller; at this rate she won’t even need a husband anymore.

Straightening her shoulders with a laugh Elise leaves the bathroom and calls out to the babysitter. “Tristan, I’m leaving for my meeting now. Mr. Lemieux should be home around 7 but only to change because we have a dinner date.”

She doesn’t bother to wait for response, her mind already occupied with what awaited her downtown.

“Bojour, cher!”  Elise smiles and hugs the handsome man, her lips lingering as she kisses him on the cheek. “How are you enjoying your day away from the set?”

“It’s wonderful. I just might come to like this little island town that allows me to move around like the average man.” Dale waits patiently for Elise to sit down before sliding into the booth beside her. “Everyone is polite and keeps their distance; I can almost forget that I’m a big film star.”

Shaking her head Elise places another kiss on his cheek, leaving her hand to rest lightly on his arm. “I doubt that, mon coeur.”

“Well, they do stare.” Dale smirks at the woman staring at them before reaching for Elise’s hand and pulling her closer to him. “So, I heard you booked three new commercials today and so soon after booking your first. You must be awfully talented.”

She looks at him through lowered lashes, a smile on her lips. “It doesn’t hurt that someone put in a good word for me.”

“Oh, I’m sure and is that someone going to get the rewarded for his efforts?”

Elise stares at him for a moment, noting his gorgeous green eyes and classic features. He wants to sleep with her, that’s easy to figure out, but his worthiness is not. He could take her places, being seen on his arm would sky rocket her career but Dale’s attention was known to be extremely fleeting. Then there was her husband – her poor, foolish, stubborn husband. If he would simply listen to her and stop talking about his dreams she wouldn’t be sitting here thinking about whether or not to finally cheat on him. His right to dream was gone; it was her turn, her chance to make grand plans and finally get everything she wants.

She smiles. “Oui, I believe he will get rewarded handsomely.”

His smile is sudden, too big and a bit feral, and Elise almost laughs — men are all the same.

It isn’t until she’s naked in Dale’s hot tub that she decides to think about consequences. She worries –briefly– about what would happen to her reputation if people found about her relationship with him. Scandal boosts the careers of big stars but hinders, if not destroys,the up and coming ones. Leaning closer to Dale and softening her expression, Elise starts to work on damage control.

“Dale, cher, you won’t tell anyone about us will you?” She asks, watching him from under lowered lashes.

He swings an arm around her and nuzzles her ear. “I’m not going to hide you. Why would I? I like being with you. I like being seen with you.”

Her laugh is light, almost embarrassed, and she looks away from him. “I’m married, you know that.”

“Then get a divorce.”

Elise bites her lips and rolls her eyes, why must men insist on being so simple? She starts to think about life without designer clothes and diamonds and whimpers piteously, tears stinging her eyes. “But my little boy, if I leave my husband he’ll take our child back to France and keep him away from me.  I’m a mother; I’d die without my son.”

Elise cries harder, shielding her face from Dale with her hands. She almost smirks in triumph when he places small kisses around her face and speaks soothingly.

“That will never happen, sweetheart. What do you want me to do? I’ll listen to you.”

She sighs softly; the men in her her life dance so easily to her whims even the so called playboys. “Can we keep it between us for now, private and special? As soon as I start to get steadier work, I’ll be happy to be seen anywhere with you, mon coeur.”

Dale grins cockily at her, rearranging her onto his lap. “Give me a month and we’ll be going to award shows together.”

Elise kisses him thoroughly. Perfection, she is perfection.

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A.N: First update in a long time and it feels good to be back.  Fabrice is starting to find himself again although it’s slow going and my girl Elise is still plowing through everyone’s lives like a bullet train. I wasn’t sure if I was going to let Elise go ahead with the affair but she really does know what she wants because ACR kept doing its thing.

I’m not sure where these two are heading anymore.

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