THE ACTOR’S ONE & ONLY: Chapter 12

A/N: Dedicated to everyone who fell prey to the devious Harvey Weinstein/ the numerous other sexual predators like him who lurk about not just in Hollywood but on every corner, in every part o’ the world. Yer not alone an’ may y’all find the courage, love an’ justice that y’all truly deserve. 💝

Cameo by Timothy Spall as Mr. Warren Harbinger.

Song choice: California Dreaming by The Beatles

“Yer a bad-arse, Ruth Clara Richards!” he felt tempted to tease her for her firm demeanor as soon as Mr. Harbinger took their leave. “I dunno…that man just creeps me out! I’ve got a bad feelin bout im. Bout everyone ere, ya know? They all seem so phony. Call me judgemental, but…” she muttered, keeping her poker face on as he handed her a drink to calm her nerves. “Ya are judgemental, now that I think bout it. C’mon, just enjoy yerself. Be less judgy, schoolteacher Ruthy an’ more party-girl Ruthy. Loosen up! If yer gonna be such an introvert, I’m gonna pack ya up an’ send ya off back to Scotland, yeah?” he threatened jokingly, squeezing her shoulders lovingly. “Kay. What d’you wanna do then?” she sighed, sipping onto whatever concoction he’d handed her. “Well, my costars asked me out for a smoke. D’you wanna come?” he offered, gesturing to a stylishly dressed group of smokers in the distance. “Oh…no, no thanks…!” she passed, much to his surprise! “Oi, why not?!” he demanded to know. “I quit smokin.” she revealed, coolly. “No way…! Ya who loved a fag or two, even smugglin em into no smokin zones?! ” he cried out in disbelief at her revelation. She certainly had changed in all that time they’d been apart!
“Aye, don’t remind me. But that was the ol me. I wouldn’t be caught dead smokin now. But, ya go ahead, love.” she exclaimed, shrugging it off. “So…why this sudden change, eh?” he was curious to know more. “I dunno….I do weird things when I smoke or when I’m high…like agree to a date with Bronco!” she replied, ending with a nervous chuckle. “That’s as good a reason as any to quit! Alright, see ya. Gonna be fine by yerself, love?” he whispered, just to ensure her safety. “I guess I’ll survive among the phonies. Besides, they’re playin my favorite. Go on, get lost!” she ordered, pecking his cheek before he ran off excitedly to join his colleagues. She was left on the dance floor to hum and dance by herself to California Dreaming which wafted in through the stereo. She was fine, until Mr. Harbinger sauntered towards her. If she’d been suspicious of him earlier, she grew even more suspicious of him now! Especially, when he took advantage of Jack’s absence by attempting to touch and fondle her! She swatted at the perverse man’s wandering hands, but he continued with his disgusting actions. When Jack returned, smelling all smoky, she was nowhere to be found!
“Get offa er, ya bastard!” Jack ordered, finding them both in the dark alley behind the pub from where he’d heard her cries for help. He rushed at Mr. Harbinger and pulled him off Ruth, punching him till his mouth was bloody! A furious Jack pinned him against the wall, violently landing more punches to the older man as punishment for his misbehavior. On hearing Ruth groan, he stopped only to help her to her feet.
“Oi, get back ere…! I’m not done with ya…!” he called out angrily, realizing that the molester had taken this opportunity to make a run for it. “Well, you’ll be done in this industry once I’m finished with ya, Jerry!” Mr. Harbinger threatened from a distance, before vanishing into the dark. “Jack, Jack…let im go!” Ruth advised hoarsely, clutching his arm frightfully. Her dress was partially torn, missing most of its buttons and her undergarments peeked out from the torn bits, causing her to shiver. He took off his blue tux jacket to cover her with it for warmth.
“Not yet…! Ya hurt? Did he hurt ya? What am I askin…of course, yer hurt! Best we get ya to a hospital.” he offered, leading her away from the pub and out of the spooky alley. “I tried to fight im off, but he had me pinned down. An’ then, I kneed im…but, the bastard seemed to get turned on by that..Blech! Anyway, I’m fine…really,I am.” she narrated the horrifying incident to him, while he scrambled about to find a taxi, still holding on to her bruised arm in a protective manner. “Still, we’ve gotta report that man! I won’t have any one molestin my girlfriend.” he declared, disgusted by Mr. Harbinger’s behavior towards Ruth.
“What’d ya call me?” she asked, hoping she hadn’t misheard him, since this was the first time she’d heard him not refer to her simply as his friend. “My girlfriend. That’s who ya are to me, love…an’ I won’t have anyone misbehavin with ya, kay? Now, are ya comin with me to the station to report this or not?” he repeated himself, squeezing her hand lovingly. “Delighted to. Let’s get outta ere, love!” she agreed to accompany him with a toothy grin, since he was so adamant. “Well, I’m never workin with im again!” she heaved a sigh of relief on hearing him, before they finally hailed a taxi and he carefully ushered her into the vehicle in a gentlemanly manner.

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