The measures taken by Ezra that constituted as "relaxing" only made Rose's lips twitch into a smirk, her eyes darting for the door as she vocally told him to double check that the door was locked. "Please check," she said with a laugh that came followed by a satisfied sigh, feeling his hands roaming against the axis of her thighs that he peeled open. Sitting there with her robe hanging open, she watched him strut over to the door, jiggling the handle to ensure it was locked, her eyes dark, her nerves that had been knotted into her shoulders were melting down her back the second he took his fingers and pushed the soft fabric back.
She joked about needing this, a release before heading on stage, a distraction, if you will, but she wasn't sure if she would allow herself to be convinced enough to go through with this just hours before she was set to go on. The flowers brought a fresh, floral scent to the room, her mouth taking in the fragrant mist, tasting it while her hands slid around the vanity for leverage as he told her how much he appreciated what she was doing professionally, all of his support dripping from the tip of his tongue and how it curled against her skin rapidly. Her eyes closed while letting him work; softly and aggressively, the perfect paradox of feeling until he gave himself to her fully.
The dressing room was a mess before he left, her wig hadn't moved, but she needed to reapply lipstick as it was all over her face, as well as painted across the landscape of his neck and chest. She sat there for a moment while he picked up cards and letters from her friends in the states, her family here, and whatnot, admiring the elegant qualities he possessed and how she knew she couldn't do any of this without him. She was lucky he was there watching Rocco while she was in and out of rehearsals, long days and even longer nights had become the norm, feeling frustrated by not being able to spend as much time with them as she would have liked.
He never complained, he never went as far as to bat an eyelash to make her feel guilty for putting her career in motion after a small break, if you could even call it a break, when Rocky came into this world. Her eyes nearly welled up, holding back tears of pure bliss as she slipped herself off the vanity and got herself dressed again in her 80s powersuit to transform fully into Karen. "Thank you," she uttered. "Thank you for being here." That was when she nearly lost it, her arms tight around him as he pulled her in and they remained that way until she knew that he had to go and she had to prepare herself and gather with the rest of the cast and Andrew, the director. Before he left, she whispered that she loved him and he told her to break a leg. "Chookas," she repeated. "It's what we say in Australia. It's the same as telling someone to break a leg." He repeated it in his very New York, New Jersey tone, smiling a proud, big smile, as he disappeared.
The performance didn't feel flawless, there was some work that needed to be done, lines that needed to be tweaked and delivered differently, but it felt exhilarating to be back on stage with an audience, hearing the crowd laughing with her and Damon and Lachy who had been her support circle through all of this. Leaving the stage she felt an adrenaline rush she couldn't describe, sweaty and energized and full of triumph after getting through the first night of previews. There was plenty of crying and laughing and cheering going on backstage with a bottle of champagne popped as they gathered together to congratulate one another.
Rose gulped down the champagne quickly, on the hunt for Ezra as she waltzed down the long hallway backstage at the Roslyn theater where she found him waiting. Nearly running, she hurried toward him, his body lifting her up with her feet kicking in the air. She kissed him right away, her lipstick transferring onto his lips in a quick kiss. "Did you hate it," she exclaimed, knowing he most certainly did not. "I missed a line completely but I don't know if anyone had noticed -- did you notice -- you can tell me." Her anxiety was showing through her words as she spoke quickly, a higher pitch to her tone as she spoke to him. He shook his head. "You were incredible." And just like that, she kissed him again, half because she wanted to shut him up, half because she wanted to.
The cast all had dinner together out in Sydney, but Rose and Ezra snuck away to go home to see Rocky who was fast asleep when they got in. Her parents were coming in from Tassie for opening night, her sisters and their husbands, as well. It couldn't have been a more perfect start to the theatre season. She was full of love and full of appreciation.