Lines

With hands resting on the bathroom sink, he peered into the mirror and saw the lines on his face. Years of studying scripts and going over lines had given him the slightest of squints, and crow’s feet had emerged around each eye. His skin was no longer as smooth as marble, and his crop of blonde hair was becoming silvery from the expanding numbers of grey hair coming through.

Glancing down, he was reminded how age had not just affected his face. A slight paunch resided on his stomach, little hint of the muscle he was known for in his early acting years still visible. It had been harder and harder to shift what he put on in recent years, but it had the upside of driving him to eat better, focus on his health.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the handsomest of them all?” A voice came from behind as his wife slipped inside the room, draping an arm over his shoulders. She was younger than him, and very pretty. She was barely in her mid teens when he first met her on the set of one of his biggest movies, and on their reconnection later in life… well, the rings on their fingers showed how that reunion had gone.

“I don’t think I’m Hollywood’s Most Handsome any more, love.” He said, self-depreciating trying to hide the worry that had been gripping him.

Her arm slipped down to lock around one of his biceps, pulling herself in close. “Is this because of that screen test?” His lack of response and a quick glance back to the mirror made that clear. “You dodged a bullet there, anyway. I’ve no idea how that director got that gig, but based on his past stuff, it’s not looking promising.”

“It’s not just that. Or the other auditions.” He said with a heavy sigh, his body slumping as he bared his feelings. “I’ve seen what they say on gossip sites about me, about how much I’ve changed, and-”

She stamped her foot down on the tiled floor. “You stop that right now.” Her voice was so firm, resolute about the matter. “You’ve gotten older. Everyone does. It doesn’t mean you’ve changed from being the funny, gentle, kind man who inspired me so much all those years ago. Or the man who I fell for when I was older, so passionate and giving.”

A smile touched his lips from her words, his posture straightening.

“So they didn’t want you for some action films? Find something else. You’re a fantastic actor, you bring so much to any role you take from big to small. Take some time to work in smaller productions, bring all that experience there. You’ve still got that energy, that charisma, and so much more now. Wisdom, knowledge…” She rose up on tiptoes to plant a soft kiss on his lips. “Distinguished appeal.”

“Distinguished?” He chuckled, an eyebrow raised.

“Statesman-like. The kind of man who makes an intern weak at the knees.” She said, before nibbling on his shoulder. “Also, there’s been something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

“Yes?” He said, a little wary.

“I’ve been thinking about coming off of the Pill,” She whispered, looking into his eyes, “and I wanted to know what you-”

He easily lifted her up, letting her legs wrap around his waist as he carried her towards the bedroom. “I’m not off it yet!” She laughed, slipping her arms around his neck.

“What did I tell you during rehearsals for that shooting scene you were having trouble with on our first film?” He asked, gently lowering her to the bed.

“Practice, practice, practice?”

His head ducked in to nibble at her neck, his eyes bright and his voice full of energy. “Exactly.”

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