Dance Me to the End of Night

Studio 10

Two walls of Studio 10's foyer are dark red and decorated with stylized, black and white paintings of dancers. The other two walls are large, floor-to-ceiling windows: one set faces the street and bears the name and logo of the dance school, the other facing inward to the studio. Two comfortable, white leather sofas provide seating for guests and would be students, while potted ficus trees and spider plants in hanging baskets add a touch of soft green. The floor is carpeted in black, with dark red accent rugs. A coffee table in front of one couch is covered in dance magazines.

Through a glass door is the polished wood floor of the studio itself. Mirrors line two of the walls, so students can watch themselves dance. Walls not covered in mirrors are a pale blue, one with a mural of impressionist dancers in black and white. On those walls are also two wooden barres which run the length of the studio, with one barre set at the perfect height for younger students. The second is set higher, and used by older dancers. A state-of-the-art music system sits between the boys and girls locker room doors, with racks of CDs (classic Tchaikovsky to hip-hop and everything in between) attached to the wall above it. On the ceiling are lights which can be brightened or dimmed according to need. Two doors open off the studio: one is marked "Office." The other is designated "Private," and opens onto a set of stairs leading up to the second floor apartment.

It's not long after sunset. The last of her private lessons has ended, but Desiree doesn't feel much like doing anything else. She inserts a CD into the player, and soon the studio is filled with the lilting sounds of Tchaikovsky's SWAN LAKE. In particular, the dying of the swan, which is very close to how she feels tonight. She's danced this routine countless times, each one ends the same. She's no Anna Pavlova, but she is good, and the expression of her mood, her feelings, her sadness comes through clearly in the way her arms flutter, her legs carry her about the floor, and her green, chiffon dress seems to float around her. Desiree is many things, but above all else, she is a dancer, born to tell a story in movement and grace.

She is lost in the music, her eyes closed as she pirouettes and leaps, dancing on her toes. Arabesques are held with grace, while smaller, less grandiose steps are fluid. She is the personification of Terpsichore come to earth to tempt and teach mankind. She is the music, and the music is her— they are one and the same, and it's not until she sinks to the floor as the music ends that her weeping can be heard.


With his usual grace Michael enters the studio. Watching Desiree for a moment, he makes no sound. He seems perfectly content, the events of the previous evening having apparently sat well enough with him. He waits, a couple of boxes tucked under his arm. He places the boxes down as Desirees' weeping is heard, and moves over to her, falling to his knees. He intends to rest a hand on her back. "Desiree, what's wrong?" He sounds genuinely concerned as he studies the woman, the boxes placed on the floor carefully as he studies Desiree.


There's a moment of startlement, since she didn't hear Michael enter, but Desiree immediately relaxes. "It's such a sad piece," she whispers, lifting her head. Her eyes, not quite so heavily made up as usual, glisten with tears. "Odette thinks she's lost her love when she sees Odile with the Prince" She sniffs, wiping her nose on the back of her hand. " I've always cried when I watched this, or danced it. I'm a sucker for SWAN LAKE." She rises a bit more, assuming a less rigid and more relaxed seat upon the floor. The music continues onto the next track, but she pays it little mind.

Now that Michael's here, Desiree knows it's time she tell him the truth, just as she told Hugo the night before. "Michael," voice still soft. "We have to talk. I've … I need to tell you things you probably already know, but /I/ need to say them. It's for me… it's something I have to do."

Gracefully rising to her feet, she moves over to one of the lobby couches which have been moved into the studio while the lobby's being painted. "Come, sit with me," she begs, patting the sofa next to where she sits. Her toe shoes make hard clacks on the floor as she moves, and she reaches down to remove them while she waits for Michael to join her. "I can only hope it doesn't make you upset or angry, since I've no excuse for my poor behavior last night at the country club."


Shaking his head, Michael smiles. "No, I should apologise. I should never have accepted the invitation. I should know better." He becomes just a little more distant. "Though, I'll admit I was surprised at how … dispassionately you could look at me." He follows Desiree picking up one of the boxes, and offering it to her with a smile. "Something for later. I arranged it before the country club, so please don't think I'm trying to show off … no more than usual, at least. Like I say, open it after I've left." He leaves the other box where it lies. "Is this about your relationship with Hugo? Or is it about the…. duration of our relationship?"


Desiree looks at the box, eyes sad. "I can't accept this, Michael," she says, looking miserable. "Not after the way I treated you last night. Not after" She breaks off, clearing her throat. " keeping the truth from you. I never meant to seem dispassionate, nor rude. I never meant to hurt— " She stops, closing her eyes. "I suppose the road to hell /is/ paved with good intentions. I didn't tell you about Hugo and I because I didn't want to hurt you. I thought, maybe, I could keep it from you for long enough to see where the relationship if you can call it that between Hugo and I was going."

She lifts her face to look at Michael, now, eyes filled with tears. They're not crocodile tears, either; Michael should have seen her cry for real often enough to know the silent tears streaming down her face aren't fake. "I don't think you're trying to show off, or buy me, or trick me— or any of a hundred other things people suspect vampires of doing to us poor, helpless mortals. I've trusted you from the first, and I still do— albeit you might not think so, now."

She pauses. "I guess this is about both, Michael. About my 'relationship' with Hugo, /and/ with you. /Our/ relationship." A moment for her to gather her thoughts. "Hugo and I are … it's not love. We respect one another, but it's mostly about the dancing, the passion that flares up between us. I don't love him, or care for him like I do for you. I like him, and I'd not want to see him hurt. He's good to me in a different way than you are, but he's not out to hurt me, either. You don't have to worry about that."


Michael shakes his head with a smile. "I think you have to… I would feel foolish if you refused it." He laughs quietly. "And you didn't lie to me, you told me that we weren't exclusive. And you told me you'd be… discreet in your dealings with others, and I appriciate it." He looks at Desiree with a thoughtful expression, his words coming slowly. "We've not shown the passion we used to of late have we? Not since that dinner you made on your return." He watches Desiree, his affection still as obvious as ever.


His answer is a silent shake of her head. Only after does Desiree speak. "I would never betray you, Michael," she whispers, holding the box he thrust at her in one hand, reaching out to touch his hand with her other. "And I care deeply for you— which is why I'm so ashamed of how I treated you last night." Her eyes lower, and there's no mistaking her demeanor. "I was wrong to have been so cold. Mistakes have been made on all sides of this equation, I think. I'm just not sure how to correct those mistakes."

The box is set down on the couch. "I can't help feeling as I do for you. Even if the blood you gave me's worn off, I /feel/ like there's something between us that can't easily be explained. I think of you a lot, and even if I have another lover, he's not /you./" Her eyes close a moment. "Hugo won't come between us, Michael. First off, I told you, ours isn't that kind of exclusive relationship most humans share. You know how afraid I am of commitment. I can't commit to him any more than I can commit to you." She takes a breath. "Please don't feel like you have to threaten him to keep him from hurting me. It's not going to happen. I /like/ Hugo, and he's fun in bed, but you have a lot more to be jealous of with Steve than Hugo."

There's silence a moment, then, "But don't worry, Steve's never made a pass at me, even though I had the biggest crush on him when I was nineteen. He's always been the perfect gentleman when he's with me, even when we were both a little drunk one night. /I/ made a pass at /him,/ but all I got for it was a kiss on the forehead and sent off to bed. He slept on the couch."


Laughing Michael shakes his head. "You don't understand. I never felt threatened, I know there's a chance you'll meet someone, that you'll fall in love and overcome your fear of commitment, I can accept that; I don't particularly like the idea, but at the same time I think I almost hope for it, you deserve to have everything you want Desiree." He looks at her his expression becoming a little more hesitant. "You face all your fears other than that Desiree. It's ironic, you fear commitment because you don't want to be owned, or controlled again like you felt by Ryan. Until you face that Ryan still owns you."


Of all the things in the world Desiree doesn't want to hear, that tops the list. There's a flash of anger in those jade-green eyes, and her jaw stiffens stubbornly. "I don't see it that way," she says, voice a little on the coolish side. "I see it more as protecting myself from ever letting it happen to me again. I'm sorry you feel otherwise." She pushes herself off the couch, walking over to the CD player. SWAN LAKE is removed, replaced with another of the Russian's compositions: The NUTCRACKER. Although Desiree doesn't dance, she stands there, letting the music flow over and around her, soothing and calming. After a few minutes, she turns to face Michael once more.

"I will accept that as your opinion, and perhaps you could be right. However, you're mistaken if you think it's the same kind of fear as facing the lake. It's totally different, and if you'd ever been treated the way he treated me—" Desiree stops, cold, looking aghast at herself. "No, that's … I shouldn't have said that. I know you've been through a lot more than I ever will." She takes a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "I'm not looking for love, Michael. I'm looking for a good time and freedom. That doesn't mean I can't care for people, even love them. Like I feel for you. I care very deeply for you, but I'm not /in/ love with you." A pause. "I'm not in love with /any/one."

There's a pause while she makes her way back over to where Michael is. "You've no idea how special you are to me, do you? Just because the passion isn't the same doesn't mean my feelings are. Ryan aside, I don't feel afraid when I'm with you, and that means more to me than you'll ever know." «Especially right now,» she thinks, idly touching her throat.


Nodding Michael offers a hand to Desiree. "I know, but I'm saying don't fear commitment, there will almost certainly come a time when you feel torn between wanting to commit and your sense of freedom. You don't give up your freedom when you commit to someone Desiree, you simply make a choice, the commitment may hold you to that stronger than otherwise, but you are still free to leave if you wish to badly enough." He picks up the box handing it to Desiree. "Now, since this discussion has revealed the extent of your feelings for me, I think it's safe for you to open your gift without it souring them." He flashes a grin with far more warmth than one might expect from the vampire. "I wanted to get you flowers, but the florists all shut before I wake; I find buying pre-arranged bouquets defeats the purpose, it's far too impersonal." He shrugs. "I'm afraid you'll have to settle for this." His eyes go to the hand at Desirees' throat, but he'd like to calm her down at least a little before going into that disucssion.


There's such guilt in Desiree's expression when she takes the box. "Michael, I don't feel right about this," she whispers, but she won't disappoint him, and his smile holds her entranced. He smiles so rarely, it touches her deeply. "Flowers are always nice, too, even the pre-arranged ones," she protests slightly. In a moment, she has the box open and gives a sharp gasp. "It's … oh, Michael, it's too much!"

With trembling fingers, she lifts out the necklace, letting the diamonds and emeralds glitter in the lights of the studio. Seven perfect stones in gradient sizes drop from a strand of diamonds. With the necklace is a pair of matching tear-drop earrings, the emeralds glowing jade green, the color of Desiree's eyes after she's been crying. "I didn't think you'd take me seriously," she whispers, lifting her eyes to meet his. "I was teasing you. I never expected … this."

She can feel her throat tightening up, like she's once more beneath the hand of Marius. "I … I can't … not after the way I acted." But there's no way she can refuse. Not with him smiling like that. It would hurt him too much, and she won't do that. "They're exquisite," she murmurs. "Please, put them on me…?" She holds out the necklace as she turns her back to Michael.


Michael nods taking the necklace from Desiree, he sounds amused as he speaks. "They're not as much as you might think. I know someone who owns a jewellery store, he owed me a very big favour." He attaches the necklace, letting his hands come to a rest on her shoulders once he's done. "You really did nothing wrong Desiree, I knew it would happen eventually… Although next time maybe you could introduce me as a friend to the family?" He leans in intending to lightly kiss Desiree's neck. "We need to discuss those marks I'm afraid."


There's just the faintest hint of a shiver as the kiss is placed on her neck. Desiree tries, however, to defer the mention marks on her throat by turning to let Michael admire how those scintillating diamonds and emeralds look against her skin. "You should never tell a woman you got her jewelry for free, Michael," she admonishes. "You should always let her think they're priceless— just like she is." It's soft, gentle teasing, and Desiree slips her arms around his neck. Pressing her own lips against his cheek, and hugging him. "They're beautiful, Michael, and I'll love them for as long as I live."

She smiles, releasing the vampire. "Would you settle for being introduced as one of my dearest friends?" she asks, stepping back to put on the earrings. When she's finished, she rises on her toes, and begins to dance "Waltz of the Flowers," another role she's played many, many times. The light catches the emeralds and diamonds at throat and ears, and she's smiling as she twirls.

Finally, she returns to Michael's side, and realizes he's still waiting for her answer. "It's nothing, Michael. Really. Just … just a miscalculation on my part. It's over and done, and won't ever happen again, I'm sure. Besides, we have more important things to discuss." She leads Michael back to the couch, urging him to sit beside her. "We need to figure exactly what we want and expect from one another. Once we decide that, I think things will be a lot clearer for both of us."


Michael notices the shiver, though he makes no comment instead as Desiree turns he lets himself be distracted from the conversation of the marks for now, he takes his hands from her shoulders as she hugs him smiling as she kisses him on the cheek. "I never said I got them for free… very far from it, but if you love them then they're worth many times what I paid for them." He nods slowly his expression thoughtful. "I suppose that I'll settle for 'one of'." His own tone's teasing as he watches her dance, when she returns to his side he listens to her intently still showing that same happy warmth that's so rare to him. He seems a little less cheerful at the effort to evade his question. "You told me you'd explain later, and I'm not going to settle for /that/ as an explanation. We can discuss it just as soon as we're finished with this discussion."

He joins Desiree on the couch sitting close to her, gives the question obivious thought, he seems to freeze in place for several moments almost as though he simply stops thinking about such trivial matters as motion. He then turns to look at Desiree, his hand coming up to cup her chin, he lets a thumb run along her bottom lip, his eyes meeting hers. "That's a surprisingly difficult question, I suppose in many ways I want what we had before you got attacked. I want to talk to you about anything that takes our fancy. I want to sit holding you, maybe not talking at all. I want to take you to dinner, and to watch films and go dancing, I want to share your bed in ever sense of the word, and I want to be the person you turn to when you're upset, or when you just want the rest of the world to go away." He studies Desiree. "More than that though I want to know that you're safe and happy." He shrugs a shoulder with a weak smile. "I know you don't want to be exclusive, but when you're with me I /want/ all those things. The question is what do /you/ want?"


It's Desiree's turn to sit motionless, albeit she breathes; in, out, calmly now, no fear, no upset. Finally, she looks to Michael and smiles, a tender smile, affectionate, warm. "When I'm with you, Michael, I want all those things, too. I enjoyed talking art with you, and history. Opinions of where the world's going to be in five, ten or even fifty years. I want to know about your life, and how your businesses are doing. I guess," she says, pausing a moment before continuing, "I want what we had before I … before I learned there was so much more to the world than just humans and vampires. Before I was attacked, yes."

She takes a deeper breath now, exhaling slowly. "Yet, I still want to make my own choices in life. I want to be able to spend time with a friend, or … or sleep with someone I like. Maybe I'm the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette, because I want my cake and to eat it, too. Or, no, she was the one who told the peasants to eat cake. Nevermind. It was a stupid allegory." A sigh, then.

"Michael, I know what you want with me, but is it possible? Can you be satisfied with me as I am, a flawed mortal who will grow old while you remain the same age? You've talked before of watching people pass on and leave you behind. Don't you realize I'll do the same?" Desiree takes one of Michael's hands in her own, stroking the cool skin with gentleness. "I don't want to hurt you, any more than /I/ want to be hurt, but I can't be exclusive to you. Not right now. Not while I'm trying to figure out where my head is. Until I know myself a bit better, I won't be good for anyone. Don't you see that?"

She falls silent a moment, her other hand fondling the necklace around her throat. "I love them, Michael, and I'll keep them because you gave them to me. That makes them doubly precious in my eyes."


Michael nods slowly, chuckling quietly. "If you'd decided that when you lent me those art books, or when I offered to leave the night I returned them, then you might have avoided hurting me, and even then it's unlikely I wouldn't have missed you when you're gone." He looks at Desiree, meeting her eyes he seems mildly amused. "I told you that it would be unwise for me to get too close to you. I never was a wise man Desiree, I've long passed the point that I won't be hurt when you're gone be it tonight or a hundred years from now." He squeezes her hand gently. "Now I just hope to spend what time I can with you. I want to see that when I look back on the time we'll share it's to see I helped make you happy with the time you have. That we enjoyed what relatively little time we have. If I continue to allow myself to enjoy only those things that will last as long as I may … I doubt I'd be able to do /anything/. Outside of the Museum there's likely nothing in this city as old as I, and nothing that will last." He offers a warmer more amused grin. "Actually it's a misquote; the term 'let them eat cake' first appeared in Confessions, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which was completed in … seventeen sixty nine, Marie Antoinette was only thirteen at the time." He shrugs a shoulder. "One of many public misconceptions."

He smiles at the comment on the necklace. "Well I'm glad they'll hold such value for you." He nods again. "I've told you I can live with your not being exclusive, at least until you've decided what you want. True, we may have to endure the occasional awkward run in, but that's nothing I can't deal with." He frowns a little, looking at Desiree. "This hasn't anything to do with Hugo has it? Knowing about me didn't scare him off did it? That was never my intenti." Of course, no one can blame him if he had mixed feelings at such news. "I told you, making you happy, and keeping you safe is what matters the most to me." He reaches out to stroke the necklace, tracing his finger along the emeralds lightly. "I was right. Emeralds do match your eyes."


"No, it doesn't have anything to do with Hugo," Desiree assures Michael. "He and I spoke after we left the country club. He was very … very understanding, albeit he suggested we abstain from our bedroom exploits until things get sorted out. I'm … I stayed there last night, at his insistence. He wanted to make sure I was all right. He's a good man." She looks down at her hand holding Michaels, and there's a small pulse at her throat as he touches the necklce. "We are square with one another, Michael. He's not going to hurt me."

Desiree takes a deep breath as Michael's hand falls away from the necklace. "As for you and I? I don't want to lose your friendship, nor your concern for me. I can't say I love you, because I'm not certain I can love anyone … yet. I only ask for your patience. I'm still finding me, and I don't know how long that will take. In the meantime, you make me happy. I like going out with you, dancing with you, visiting the museum all those things. I'm not sure about you feeding from me, or us having sex, but curled up watching old movies like we did last week was wonderful. That's what I want right now. The intimacy of companionship. That closeness."

She turns those jade green eyes toward Michael. "I've been told by at least two people I should accept the offer you made to claim me. That this," and she touches her throat, "might never happen again if I do. But, before I make up my mind, I want to know exactly what you'd expect of me in exchange for your protection. /Exactly,/ no evasions, nothing said to comfort me. I must know before I can go another step with /anyone./"


Michael studies Desiree his expression thoughtful for a moment, the words that follow come slowly, the warmth and affection still there, yet he seems to keep something else from coming through. "Ah, then I was right; the passion is gone." He frowns a little. "I had been curious if you still felt the… attraction you'd mentioned during the dinner." He frowns a little. "Is it simply that the passion has gone, or have you changed your perspective on vampires in general?" He shrugs seeming to consider the next sentence. "I'd expect nothing, I'd be expected to teach you some of the social nicities of vampiric society, but there's little that can be done to you if they're not followed." He shrugs. "I've told you before, it's nothing but protection for you."


Desiree listens, but she shakes her head. "No, Michael, the passion isn't gone. I still feel much the same way about you as I did when we first … when we first made love. I feel that need for you inside, and it's all I can do to stop myself from dragging you upstairs. Here," and she takes his hand and places it over her heart. "When I think of you, you can feel my heart beating faster. The passion hasn't cooled, I'm just holding it in check because I don't want /our/ relationship to be based only on passion and sex. You mean too much to me for that."

She moistens her lips, then adds, "What I feel for Hugo is different. He's a friend with benefits. We dance, we stir the passions in one another, and we have sex. It's not going to last forever, Michael. Eventually, Hugo will move back to New York, and forget about me. Or, we'll mutually decide things need to change. We like each other, and don't want to hurt one another, but … it's not a forever, strings attached kind of thing." At this, she smiles. "I'm repeating myself. I'm sorry."

And then the big question is answered. There's a moment of silence, then a slow nod. "My perspective of vampires in general hasn't changed. I'm still working for the AVL, and I'm still violently opposed to some of the directives the government wants to place on vampires. There's only one vampire who scares me silly— " She stops, not going there. "Don't worry, Michael, I understand. You'll know my answer regarding the claim in a few days. I just want to mull things over until I'm certain it's what I want."


Nodding Michael smiles. "I'm not sure it works quite like that, I don't think that passion and sex have, or will ever define our relationship, but they're a part of it." He shrugs a shoulder, his expression almost amused. "I'm far from an expert however." He nods a little. "I can hear your heart beat, I simply thought I was misinterpreting the signs." He shrugs. "I don't intend to force anything upon you Desiree, as I told you before, I don't want you to feel you have to do anything you don't want to." He frowns a little, his tone becoming a little colder. "Marius did that to you didn't he?"


"Oh, yes, passion is a big part of our relationship, but it and sex can cloud things, especially in a woman," Desiree says, now holding Michael's hand between her own. "I want to let the clouds part so I can see things clearly, so I can make informed decisions based on intellect, not hormones, loneliness or desperation." Her words are spoken with warmth and caring. "Should the time come when I'm ready to commit to someone, I want it to be a strong decision I won't come to regret. It's all about the freedom of choice every person on earth, human or supernatural, has the right to."

Desiree's smile fades when Michael frowns and speaks in that cool, dispassionate voice. Her mouth opens to deny it, but it's there in here eyes. The answer Michael wants. She looks away. "It was a misunderstanding," she whispers. "Nothing more. Just an unfortunate misinterpretation of signals." Not a denial, more an explanation. "Please, Michael, don't worry about it. I can handle things, and I don't want you to get in over your head with … him. He's … he has the eyes of a cold-blooded killer, and it would kill me to know if anything happened to you because of me. He's also very close to William Grant, and if you make an enemy of Marius, it could come back on you." A pause. "If not you, then /me,/ and no claim would save me."


Michael looks at Desiree, his expression as cold as Marius' has ever been. "I've dealt with his kind before, but you're right. I won't kill Marius… that wouldn't end well; I'll be more subtle than that." He sounds certain in his ability to kill the other vampire. "I tried to divert his attentions, if he is…. interested in you then he'll…. No I'll have to find a way to… distract Marius from you."


"Michael, no" Desiree's voice is desperate. "Don't you see? If Marius thinks I've gone running to you, hiding behind you, he'll never leave me alone. He might never touch me again, but he'll find other ways to … to do what he does best, which is terrify us poor lambs," the last words are sarcasm. "And, what happens if /he/ kills /you/? Even by accident. That would spell the end of me or worse. I could be handed to him as the prize of that battle." Her heart is racing now, and fear is almost tangible. "Best to leave this as it is. For the moment, it amuses him to terrorize me, and this's the first time he's ever touched me. It'll probably be the last.

Her hand is squeezing Michael's. If he'd been human, it might've even hurt. "I avoid him. The night this happened, I was just on my way to a fencing class with Diego, and he was coming out of the hotel. I stopped to watch what was going on, and he … saw me. I had my rapier and epee in my hands, and he laughed at me for 'playing at fighting.'" She shrugs. "I backed away, and he grabbed my throat. If I wasn't so fair complected, the marks might not've been noticed, but I bruise easily." She shakes her head. "Don't build this into something more than it is. If he were really going to harm me, don't you think he'd've found a way before this? The studio is public. He could've come in here anytime and … done his worst."

~~"He's playing with you. I may be able to act indirectly." Michael frowns looking at Desiree, his smile returns a little faint. "I can't just leave this alone any more than you could watch me meet the sun Desiree. If something isn't done he /will/ break you. He'll destroy everything passionate and spirited in you." Michael frowns a little smiling at Desiree. "You are fooling yourself if you think that you can seperate passion and sex from rational thought… they're as much a part of your decision as anything else… I gave up sex for a long time Desiree, it still affected my thinking." He rises with a smile. "If you'll excuse me, I've got a clock that needs repairing. I'll head upstairs if you don't mind?" He heads over to the box that had been ignored on the floor.


"He /won't/ break me," Desiree says firmly, and there's determination in her tone. "He can try, but others have, too. He's scary, and he's cold, emotionless, but I'm not a coward. I won't run, because that only arouses the 'prey' scent in a predator. Do as you must, Michael, but don't take chances. Don't play with your life, or mine, I beg you."

"Sex and passion /are/ separate from rational, logical thought. They make it difficult to think, especially the sex. You get lost in sensations that feed your passions, and next thing you know, you're married and your husband wants to own you. No, I must leave sex and passion out of the equation. I fell into that once. I can't do it again." A beat. "I /won't/ do it again."

The box on the floor is watched as Michael picks it up. "There's True Blood in the 'fridge for you, if you need. I'm going to stay down here for a bit. I want to dance more."

She smiles, rising to search for another CD. "I'll be up soon, and we can watch my new copy of 'Gone With the Wind.'" It's the deluxe version." Knowing the 1939 adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's novel was something Michael hadn't seen in a long time.@~~

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