"Good afternoon, you're watching Fame and Fashion and I'm Barbara Hastings, your host for today. This afternoon, we have an exclusive interview with Hollywood's star couple, Michael Williams and Annabel Leigh! Hello, Mike, Annie."
"I'm surrounded by a studio full of beautiful women," Mike flashed a white smile. "The pleasure's all mine."
"And once again Mike wins our audience over with his rockstar charm!" Barbara laughed. "Now, Mike, Annie; tell us how you first met."
Mike and Annie shared a secret smile.
"In front of a club," Mike divulged.
"He was a bouncer!" Annie laughed.
"Annie Leigh," she said with all the classiness she could muster. He looked her over, his next words showing what he thought of her.
"Sorry, no paparazzi, no groupies, and no dogs." He dismissed her with a wave and turned his attention to the impatient popstar behind her.
"Well, I'm not that famous yet, but..."
Ignoring her, he undid the rope to let the popstar in. Annie stood to one side, sulking.
After he had let another few people into the club and turned even more people away, his gaze drifted over to her. She was standing with arms crossed, a little way away from him and the club entrance.
"Aren't you going to leave now?" He asked pointedly.
Her head shot up and she studied him. He had a feeling she wasn't heeding his advice, and her next statement proved it. "You're really a bouncer?"
He frowned at her. "Yeah, so?"
"But you're not huge and muscular or anything!"
He let out a growl that spoke of his annoyance better than any words could.
"What happens when someone larger than you tries to make trouble?" She was on a tirade here.
Wait, larger than him? His male pride took exception to the description. "I punch him in the nose," he deadpanned.
She giggled a little and subsided. After a few moments, she looked up and spoke again. "What's your name?"
In the face of her bright smile, he had to pause for a beat before the answer came to him. "Mike."
She stuck out her hand. "Hello, Mike. I'm Annie."
Annie rolled her eyes. "He wouldn't let me in!"
Mike mock-groaned. "And she kept coming back..."
"Why not?" Annie glared at him. "You let me in on Thursday!"
"That was a one-time thing!" Mike defended, "I told you!"
"Well, maybe we can make it a two-time thing," Annie said hopefully.
She glared at him. He turned away and shooed off a couple of fan girls trying to sneak in.
Soon enough, she got tired of glaring and stalked off down the street. He stared after her, wondering why she'd given up so easily tonight. He squashed down the sense of disappointment building up within him. She provided a source of entertainment on the job, that was all...
Ten minutes later, she was back, her cheeks flushed. She lifted up a hand, and he saw that she was holding up a paper bag from a store down the street. His astonished gaze locked onto hers. She said, "Want some food?"
"I think eventually I starting going back to the club just to see him." Annie's cheeks were tinged a rosy pink.
Mike smiled a very male smile of satisfaction.
Over the past two months, it had become a habit of sorts. She would arrive, he would refuse her entry, and then she would buy some food. Mike's manager had warned him about relaxing on the job, but thanks to his connections with the club owner, he was allowed to do pretty much what he wanted to as long as he 'kept the riff-raff out'.
"So... what do you do? Besides this job, I mean." Annie's question surprised him. This was the first time they had broached the topic.
"I play in a band," he said slowly, wondering if this would change her opinion of him. He had met many girls who, upon discovering his identity, immediately turned into mush around him.
She took a sip of the beer in her hand, looking no more different than she usually did. "What's your band's name?"
He told her, practically holding his breath for her reaction.
"Hey, wait," she said wonderingly, as if something had just dawned on her. "You're a member of one of the biggest local bands in LA?"
"Well, yeah," he looked at her warily.
She laughed. "You're a rockstar and a bouncer? This is hilarious."
He let a relieved smile creep onto his lips. She wasn't treating him any differently just because of his identity as part of LA's more famous unsigned bands. "So, what do you do?"
She looked slightly pensive now. "I... sort of run a store, I guess."
"Which store? Maybe I can visit you sometime," Mike teased.
She blushed, looking away slightly. "Well..." Then she named an address that made him feel like a sledgehammer had just knocked him senseless.
"Wait," he could barely speak due to the shock, "You're a fashion designer?"
"I guess," she mumbled, then glared at him accusingly. "I told you I wasn't that famous yet!"
"Up-and-coming designer Annabel Leigh," he had finally figured it out. "Oh, bloody hell!" He had been depriving the club of the patronage of one of its well-deserved clients!
"Well, you'll have no problem getting into the club anymore," he said after a moment's silence.
"Why? You'll finally grant me permission?" She laughed.
He shifted uncomfortably. "Not me, but the new bouncer will."
She blinked at him, not understanding.
"This is my last day on the job," he explained. "My band got signed." He named one of the most famous record companies in the country. "I'm quitting."
Annie struggled with her emotions for a little while, before flashing him a giant smile. "That's great! Are you going on tour?"
"Maybe, after we've recorded our first album," Mike grinned, his excitement seeming to radiate from him. Then he turned to look at her and realised there was something he was going to miss. Someone, to be exact.
"That's really awesome," Annie said softly, but her smile was a little sad. "Congratulations."
"Annie," Mike breathed in deeply before blurting out, "Will you be my girlfriend?"
"So how long have you been together? Three, four years?"
"Five," Mike grinned.
"That's practically unheard of in Hollywood history!" Barbara feigned shock.
"We plan to break the mold," Mike said, slipping an arm around Annie's waist. Annie unconsciously leaned into him.
"Each of your careers require you to fly all over the country on a frequent basis. Mike, you've even been on tour for the past few years! How did you make your relationship work?"
"Oh, we managed," Annie said cheekily.
"Annie! We're coming back to LA!"
Annie sat up straight, the phone pressed against her ear and a beatific smile gracing her face. "What? When?"
"We're headlining next week's show there."
Before she could reply, the doorbell rang. "Um, hold on," she said into the mouthpiece, "There's someone at the door."
On the other end of the phone, Mike laughed.
"Hi," he said when Annie opened the door. By the time Annie had recovered from her shock, Mike had already let himself in and closed the door behind him. "Shocked to see me?" He teased, grinning.
"Oh my god!" Annie flew into his arms. He smoothed a calloused hand over her cheek and leaned down towards her. A few minutes later, Annie pulled away, unable to stop the goofy smile from spreading across her face. "I can't believe you're here!"
"I took the first flight back when I realised our schedule was cleared for this week," Mike said.
Annie fixed him with a mock glare. "So, how many groupies have you seduced this time?"
Mike laughed. "Are you kidding me? I have better taste than that." And to prove his own words, he leaned down and kissed her again.
"Oh, my gosh! What is that dazzling huge stone on your finger, Annie? Is it - dare I say it - an engagement ring?!"
Annie laughed. "Yes."
"Where, how, and when? We want all the details."
"We haven't really decided on anything yet."
"It only happened yesterday," Mike added, and Annie grumbled, "Took you long enough."
"Hey!" Mike started to defend himself, "I made it worth the wait, didn't I?"
Annie smiled back at him, the kind of smile that spoke of deep intimacy between two people.
"They are so nauseatingly sweet, aren't they?" Barbara now spoke to the audience. "Well, thank you for your time today, soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Williams! I'm Barbara Hastings and you're watching Fame and Fashion. Coming up next..."